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Literature, by Henry A. Beers, et al

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Title: Brief History of English and American Literature

Author: Henry A. Beers

Release Date: April 15, 2007  [eBook #21090]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


E-text prepared by Al Haines

Transcriber's note:

   The volume from which this e-book was prepared contains two of
   Beers' books, "An Outline Sketch of English Literature" and
   "An Outline Sketch of American Literature," which start on
   pages 7 and 317, respectively.

   Page numbers in this book are indicated by numbers enclosed in
   curly braces, e.g. {99}, to facilitate use of the index.  They
   have been located where page breaks occurred in the original
   book.  For its Index, a page number has been placed only at the
   start of that section.




Introduction and Supplementary Chapters on
the Religious and Theological Literature
of Great Britain and the United States


John Fletcher Hurst

New York: Eaton & Mains
Cincinnati: Jennings & Pye

Copyright, 1886, 1887, by
Phillips & Hunt
New York
Copyright, 1897, by
Eaton & Mains
New York



At the request of the publishers the undersigned has prepared this
Introduction and two Supplementary Chapters on the Religious and
Theological Literature of Great Britain and the United States.  To the
preacher in his preparation for the pulpit, and also to the general
reader and student of religious history, the pursuit of the study of
literature is a necessity.  The sermon itself is a part of literature,
must have its literary finish and proportions, and should give ample
proof of a familiarity with the masterpieces of the English tongue.

The world of letters presents to even the casual reader a rich and
varied profusion of fascinating and luscious fruit.  But to the earnest
student who explores with thorough research and sympathetic mind the
intellectual products of countries and times other than his own, the
infinite variety, so strikingly apparent to the superficial observer,
resolves itself into a beautiful and harmonious unity.  Literature is
the record of the struggles and aspirations of man in the boundless
universe of thought.  As in physics the correlation and conservation of
force bind all the material sciences together into one, so in the world
of intellect all the diverse departments of mental life and action find
their common bond in literature.  Even the {4} signs and formulas of
the mathematician and the chemist are but abbreviated forms of
writing--the stenography of those exact sciences.  The simple
chronicles of the annalist, the flowing verses of the poet, clothing
his thought with winged words, the abstruse propositions of the
philosopher, the smiting protests of the bold reformer, either in
Church or State, the impassioned appeal of the advocate at the bar of
justice, the argument of the legislator on behalf of his measures, the
very cry of inarticulate pain of those who suffer under the oppression
of cruelty, all have their literature.

The minister of the Gospel, whose mission is to man in his highest and
holiest relations, must know the best that human thought has produced
if he would successfully reach and influence the thoughtful and
inquiring.  Perhaps our best service here will be to suggest a method
of pursuing a course of study in literature, both English and American.
The following work of Professor Beers touches but lightly and scarcely
more than opens these broad and inviting fields, which are ever growing
richer and more fascinating.  While man continues to think he will
weave the fabric of the mental loom into infinitely varied and
beautiful designs.

In the general outlines of a plan of literary study which is to cover
the entire history of English and American literature, the following
directions, it is hoped, will be of value.

1. Fix the great landmarks, the general periods--each {5} marked by
some towering leader, around whom other contemporary writers may be
grouped.  In Great Britain the several and successive periods might
thus be well designated by such authors as Geoffrey Chaucer or John
Wiclif, Thomas More or Henry Howard, Edmund Spenser or Sir Walter
Raleigh, William Shakspere or Francis Bacon, John Milton or Jeremy
Taylor, John Dryden or John Locke, Joseph Addison or Joseph Butler,
Samuel Johnson or Oliver Goldsmith, William Cowper or John Wesley,
Walter Scott or Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth or Thomas
Chalmers, Alfred Tennyson, Thomas Carlyle, or William Makepeace

A similar list for American literature would place as leaders in
letters: Thomas Hooker or Thomas Shepard, Cotton Mather, Jonathan
Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, Philip Freneau, Noah Webster or James Kent,
James Fenimore Cooper or Washington Irving, Ralph Waldo Emerson or
Edward Everett, Joseph Addison Alexander or William Ellery Channing,
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, James Russell Lowell, or Nathaniel

2. The prosecution of the study might be carried on in one or more of
several ways, according either to the purpose in view or the tastes of
the student.  Attention might profitably be concentrated on the
literature of a given period and worked out in detail by taking up
individual authors, or by classifying all the writers of the period {6}
on the basis of the character of their writings, such as poetry,
history, belles-lettres, theology, essays, and the like.

3. Again, the literature of a period might be studied with reference to
its influence on the religious, commercial, political, or social life
of the people among whom it has circulated; or as the result of certain
forces which have preceded its production.  It is well worth the time
and effort to trace the influence of one author upon another or many
others, who, while maintaining their individuality, have been either in
style or method of production unconsciously molded by their _confreres_
of the pen.  The divisions of writers may, again, be made with
reference to their opinions and associations in the different
departments of life where they have wrought their active labors, such
as in politics, religion, moral reform, or educational questions.

The influence of the great writers in the languages of the Continent
upon the literature of England and America affords another theme of
absorbing interest, and has its peculiarly good results in bringing the
student into close brotherhood with the fruitful and cultured minds of
every land.  In fact, the possible applications of the study of
literature are so many and varied that the ingenuity of any earnest
student may devise such as the exigencies of his own work may require.





In so brief a history of so rich a literature, the problem is how to
get room enough to give, not an adequate impression--that is
impossible--but any impression at all of the subject.  To do this I
have crowded out everything but _belles-lettres_.  Books in philosophy,
history, science, etc., however important in the history of English
thought, receive the merest incidental mention, or even no mention at
all.  Again, I have omitted the literature of the Anglo-Saxon period,
which is written in a language nearly as hard for a modern Englishman
to read as German is, or Dutch.  Caedmon and Cynewulf are no more a
part of English literature than Vergil and Horace are of Italian.  I
have also left out {8} the vernacular literature of the Scotch before
the time of Burns.  Up to the date of the union Scotland was a separate
kingdom, and its literature had a development independent of the
English, though parallel with it.

In dividing the history into periods, I have followed, with some
modifications, the divisions made by Mr. Stopford Brooke in his
excellent little _Primer of English Literature_.  A short reading
course is appended to each chapter.





    I. FROM THE CONQUEST TO CHAUCER, 1066-1400 . . . . .  11
   II. FROM CHAUCER TO SPENSER, 1400-1599  . . . . . . .  42
  III. THE AGE OF SHAKSPERE, 1564-1616 . . . . . . . . .  76
   IV. THE AGE OF MILTON, 1608-1674  . . . . . . . . . . 125
       POPE, 1660-1744 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 163
       REVOLUTION, 1744-1789 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
       OF SCOTT, 1789-1832 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
       TIME, 1832-1886 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
       GREAT BRITAIN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299








The Norman conquest of England, in the 11th century, made a break in
the natural growth of the English language and literature.  The old
English or Anglo-Saxon had been a purely Germanic speech, with a
complicated grammar and a full set of inflections.  For three hundred
years following the battle of Hastings this native tongue was driven
from the king's court and the courts of law, from parliament, school,
and university.  During all this time there were two languages spoken
in England.  Norman French was the birth-tongue of the upper classes
and English of the lower.  When the latter finally got the better in
the struggle, and became, about the middle of the 14th century, the
national speech of all England, it was no longer the English of King
Alfred.  It was a new language, a grammarless tongue, almost wholly
{12} stripped of its inflections.  It had lost a half of its old words,
and had filled their places with French equivalents.  The Norman
lawyers had introduced legal terms; the ladies and courtiers, words of
dress and courtesy.  The knight had imported the vocabulary of war and
of the chase.  The master-builders of the Norman castles and cathedrals
contributed technical expressions proper to the architect and the
mason.  The art of cooking was French.  The naming of the living
animals, _ox, swine, sheep, deer,_ was left to the Saxon churl who had
the herding of them, while the dressed meats, _beef, pork, mutton,
venison,_ received their baptism from the table-talk of his Norman
master.  The four orders of begging friars, and especially the
Franciscans or Gray Friars, introduced into England in 1224, became
intermediaries between the high and the low.  They went about preaching
to the poor, and in their sermons they intermingled French with
English.  In their hands, too, was almost all the science of the day;
their _medicine_, _botany,_ and _astronomy_ displaced the old
nomenclature of _leechdom_, _wort-cunning,_ and _star-craft_.  And,
finally, the translators of French poems often found it easier to
transfer a foreign word bodily than to seek out a native synonym,
particularly when the former supplied them with a rhyme.  But the
innovation reached even to the commonest words in every-day use, so
that _voice_ drove out _steven_, _poor_ drove out _earm_, and _color_,
_use_, and _place_ made good their footing beside _hue,_ {13} _wont_,
and _stead_.  A great part of the English words that were left were so
changed in spelling and pronunciation as to be practically new.
Chaucer stands, in date, midway between King Alfred and Alfred
Tennyson, but his English differs vastly more from the former's than
from the latter's.  To Chaucer Anglo-Saxon was as much a dead language
as it is to us.

The classical Anglo-Saxon, moreover, had been the Wessex dialect,
spoken and written at Alfred's capital, Winchester.  When the French
had displaced this as the language of culture, there was no longer a
"king's English" or any literary standard.  The sources of modern
standard English are to be found in the East Midland, spoken in
Lincoln, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, and neighboring shires.  Here the
old Anglian had been corrupted by the Danish settlers, and rapidly
threw off its inflections when it became a spoken and no longer a
written language, after the Conquest.  The West Saxon, clinging more
tenaciously to ancient forms, sunk into the position of a local
dialect; while the East Midland, spreading to London, Oxford, and
Cambridge, became the literary English in which Chaucer wrote.

The Normans brought in also new intellectual influences and new forms
of literature.  They were a cosmopolitan people, and they connected
England with the continent.  Lanfranc and Anselm, the first two Norman
archbishops of Canterbury, were learned and splendid prelates of a {14}
type quite unknown to the Anglo-Saxons.  They introduced the scholastic
philosophy taught at the University of Paris, and the reformed
discipline of the Norman abbeys.  They bound the English Church more
closely to Rome, and officered it with Normans.  English bishops were
deprived of their sees for illiteracy, and French abbots were set over
monasteries of Saxon monks.  Down to the middle of the 14th century the
learned literature of England was mostly in Latin, and the polite
literature in French.  English did not at any time altogether cease to
be a written language, but the extant remains of the period from 1066
to 1200 are few and, with one exception, unimportant.  After 1200
English came more and more into written use, but mainly in
translations, paraphrases, and imitations of French works.  The native
genius was at school, and followed awkwardly the copy set by its master.

The Anglo-Saxon poetry, for example, had been rhythmical and
alliterative.  It was commonly written in lines containing four
rhythmical accents and with three of the accented syllables

  _R_este hine tha _r_um-heort; _r_eced hlifade
  _G_eap and _g_old-fah, gaest inne swaef.

  Rested him then the great-hearted; the hall towered
  Roomy and gold-bright, the guest slept within.

This rude energetic verse the Saxon _scop_ had sung to his harp or
_glee-beam_, dwelling on the {15} emphatic syllables, passing swiftly
over the others which were of undetermined number and position in the
line.  It was now displaced by the smooth metrical verse with rhymed
endings, which the French introduced and which our modern poets use, a
verse fitted to be recited rather than sung.  The old English
alliterative verse continued, indeed, in occasional use to the 16th
century.  But it was linked to a forgotten literature and an obsolete
dialect, and was doomed to give way.  Chaucer lent his great authority
to the more modern verse system, and his own literary models and
inspirers were all foreign, French or Italian.  Literature in England
began to be once more English and truly national in the hands of
Chaucer and his contemporaries, but it was the literature of a nation
cut off from its own past by three centuries of foreign rule.

The most noteworthy English document of the 11th and 12th centuries was
the continuation of the Anglo-Saxon chronicle.  Copies of these annals,
differing somewhat among themselves, had been kept at the monasteries
in Winchester, Abingdon, Worcester, and elsewhere.  The yearly entries
were mostly brief, dry records of passing events, though occasionally
they become full and animated.  The fen country of Cambridge and
Lincolnshire was a region of monasteries.  Here were the great abbeys
of Peterborough and Croyland and Ely minster.  One of the earliest
English songs tells how the savage heart of the Danish {16} king Cnut
was softened by the singing of the monks in Ely.

  Merie sungen muneches binnen Ely
  Tha Cnut chyning reu ther by;
  Roweth, cnihtes, noer the land,
  And here we thes muneches sang.

It was among the dikes and marshes of this fen country that the bold
outlaw Hereward, "the last of the English," held out for some years
against the conqueror.  And it was here, in the rich abbey of Burch or
Peterborough, the ancient Medeshamstede (meadow-homestead) that the
chronicle was continued for nearly a century after the Conquest,
breaking off abruptly in 1154, the date of King Stephen's death.
Peterborough had received a new Norman abbot, Turold, "a very stern
man," and the entry in the chronicle for 1170 tells how Hereward and
his gang, with his Danish backers, thereupon plundered the abbey of its
treasures, which were first removed to Ely, and then carried off by the
Danish fleet and sunk, lost, or squandered.  The English in the later
portions of this Peterborough chronicle becomes gradually more modern,
and falls away more and more from the strict grammatical standards of
the classical Anglo-Saxon.  It is a most valuable historical monument,
and some passages of it are written with great vividness, notably the
sketch of William the Conqueror put down in the year of his death
(1086) by one who had "looked upon him and at another time dwelt in his
court." {17} "He who was before a rich king, and lord of many a land,
he had not then of all his land but a piece of seven feet. . . .
Likewise he was a very stark man and a terrible, so that one durst do
nothing against his will. . . .  Among other things is not to be
forgotten the good peace that he made in this land, so that a man might
fare over his kingdom with his bosom full of gold unhurt.  He set up a
great deer preserve, and he laid laws therewith that whoso should slay
hart or hind, he should be blinded.  As greatly did he love the tall
deer as if he were their father."

With the discontinuance of the Peterborough annals, English history
written in English prose ceased for three hundred years.  The thread of
the nation's story was kept up in Latin chronicles, compiled by writers
partly of English and partly of Norman descent.  The earliest of these,
such as Ordericus Vitalis, Simeon of Durham, Henry of Huntingdon, and
William of Malmesbury, were contemporary with the later entries of the
Saxon chronicle.  The last of them, Matthew of Westminster, finished
his work in 1273.  About 1300 Robert, a monk of Gloucester, composed a
chronicle in English verse, following in the main the authority of the
Latin chronicles, and he was succeeded by other rhyming chroniclers in
the 14th century.  In the hands of these the true history of the Saxon
times was overlaid with an ever-increasing mass of fable and legend.
All real knowledge of the period {18} dwindled away until in Capgrave's
_Chronicle of England_, written in prose in 1463-64, hardly any thing
of it is left.  In history as in literature the English had forgotten
their past, and had turned to foreign sources.  It is noteworthy that
Shakspere, who borrowed his subjects and his heroes sometimes from
authentic English history, sometimes from the legendary history of
ancient Britain, Denmark, and Scotland, as in Lear, Hamlet, and
Macbeth, ignores the Saxon period altogether.  And Spenser, who gives
in his second book of the _Faerie Queene_, a _resume_ of the reigns of
fabulous British kings--the supposed ancestors of Queen Elizabeth, his
royal patron--has nothing to say of the real kings of early England.
So completely had the true record faded away that it made no appeal to
the imaginations of our most patriotic poets.  The Saxon Alfred had
been dethroned by the British Arthur, and the conquered Welsh had
imposed their fictitious genealogies upon the dynasty of the
conquerors.  In the _Roman de Rou_, a verse chronicle of the dukes of
Normandy, written by the Norman Wace, it is related that at the battle
of Hastings the French _jongleur_, Taillefer, spurred out before the
van of William's army, tossing his lance in the air and chanting of
"Charlemagne and of Roland, of Oliver and the peers who died at
Roncesvals."  This incident is prophetic of the victory which Norman
song, no less than Norman arms, was to win over England.  The lines
which Taillefer {19} sang were from the _Chanson de Roland_, the oldest
and best of the French hero sagas.  The heathen Northmen, who had
ravaged the coasts of France in the 10th century, had become in the
course of one hundred and fifty years, completely identified with the
French.  They had accepted Christianity, intermarried with the native
women, and forgotten their own Norse tongue.  The race thus formed was
the most brilliant in Europe.  The warlike, adventurous spirit of the
vikings mingled in its blood with the French nimbleness of wit and
fondness for display.  The Normans were a nation of knights-errant,
with a passion for prowess and for courtesy.  Their architecture was at
once strong and graceful.  Their women were skilled in embroidery, a
splendid sample of which is preserved in the famous Bayeux tapestry, in
which the conqueror's wife, Matilda, and the ladies of her court
wrought the history of the Conquest.

This national taste for decoration expressed itself not only in the
ceremonious pomp of feast and chase and tourney, but likewise in
literature.  The most characteristic contribution of the Normans to
English poetry were the metrical romances or chivalry tales.  These
were sung or recited by the minstrels, who were among the retainers of
every great feudal baron, or by the _jongleurs_, who wandered from
court to castle.  There is a whole literature of these _romans d'
aventure_ in the Anglo-Norman dialect of French.  Many of them are {20}
very long--often thirty, forty, or fifty thousand lines--written
sometimes in a strophic form, sometimes in long Alexandrines, but
commonly in the short, eight-syllabled rhyming couplet.  Numbers of
them were turned into English verse in the 13th, 14th, and 15th
centuries.  The translations were usually inferior to the originals.
The French _trouvere_ (finder or poet) told his story in a
straight-forward, prosaic fashion, omitting no details in the action
and unrolling endless descriptions of dresses, trappings, gardens, etc.
He invented plots and situations full of fine possibilities by which
later poets have profited, but his own handling of them was feeble and
prolix.  Yet there was a simplicity about the old French language and a
certain elegance and delicacy in the diction of the _trouveres_ which
the rude, unformed English failed to catch.

The heroes of these romances were of various climes: Guy of Warwick,
and Richard the Lion Heart of England, Havelok the Dane, Sir Troilus of
Troy, Charlemagne, and Alexander.  But, strangely enough, the favorite
hero of English romance was that mythical Arthur of Britain, whom Welsh
legend had celebrated as the most formidable enemy of the Sassenach
invaders and their victor in twelve great battles.  The language and
literature of the ancient Cymry or Welsh had made no impression on
their Anglo-Saxon conquerors.  There are a few Welsh borrowings in the
English speech, such as _bard_ and _druid_; but in the old Anglo-Saxon
literature there are {21} no more traces of British song and story than
if the two races had been sundered by the ocean instead of being
borderers for over six hundred years.  But the Welsh had their own
national traditions, and after the Norman Conquest these were set free
from the isolation of their Celtic tongue and, in an indirect form,
entered into the general literature of Europe.  The French came into
contact with the old British literature in two places: in the Welsh
marches in England and in the province of Brittany in France, where the
population is of Cymric race and spoke, and still to some extent
speaks, a Cymric dialect akin to the Welsh.

About 1140 Geoffrey of Monmouth, a Benedictine monk, seemingly of Welsh
descent, who lived at the court of Henry the First and became afterward
bishop of St. Asaph, produced in Latin a so-called _Historia Britonum_
in which it was told how Brutus, the great grandson of Aeneas, came to
Britain, and founded there his kingdom called after him, and his city
of New Troy (Troynovant) on the site of the later London.  An air of
historic gravity was given to this tissue of Welsh legends by an exact
chronology and the genealogy of the British kings, and the author
referred, as his authority, to an imaginary Welsh book given him, as he
said, by a certain Walter, archdeacon of Oxford.  Here appeared that
line of fabulous British princes which has become so familiar to modern
readers in the plays of Shakspere and the poems of Tennyson: Lear and
his {22} three daughters; Cymbeline, Gorboduc, the subject of the
earliest regular English tragedy, composed by Sackville and acted in
1562; Locrine and his Queen Gwendolen, and his daughter Sabrina, who
gave her name to the river Severn, was made immortal by an exquisite
song in Milton's _Comus_, and became the heroine of the tragedy of
_Locrine_, once attributed to Shakspere; and above all, Arthur, the son
of Uther Pendragon, and the founder of the Table Round.  In 1155 Wace,
the author of the _Roman de Rou_, turned Geoffrey's work into a French
poem entitled _Brut d' Angleterre_, "brut" being a Welsh word meaning
chronicle.  About the year 1200 Wace's poem was Englished by Layamon, a
priest of Arley Regis, on the border stream of Severn.  Layamon's
_Brut_ is in thirty thousand lines, partly alliterative and partly
rhymed, but written in pure Saxon English with hardly any French words.
The style is rude but vigorous, and, at times, highly imaginative.
Wace had amplified Geoffrey's chronicle somewhat, but Layamon made much
larger additions, derived, no doubt, from legends current on the Welsh
border.  In particular the story of Arthur grew in his hands into
something like fullness.  He tells of the enchantments of Merlin, the
wizard; of the unfaithfulness of Arthur's queen, Guenever; and the
treachery of his nephew, Modred.  His narration of the last great
battle between Arthur and Modred; of the wounding of the king--"fifteen
fiendly wounds he had, one might in the least {23} three gloves
thrust--"; and of the little boat with "two women therein, wonderly
dight," which came to bear him away to Avalun and the Queen Argante,
"sheenest of all elves," whence he shall come again, according to
Merlin's prophecy, to rule the Britons; all this left little, in
essentials, for Tennyson to add in his _Death of Arthur_.  This new
material for fiction was eagerly seized upon by the Norman romancers.
The story of Arthur drew to itself other stories which were afloat.
Walter Map, a gentleman of the Court of Henry II., in two French prose
romances, connected with it the church legend of the Sangreal, or holy
cup, from which Christ had drunk at his last supper, and which Joseph
of Arimathea had afterward brought to England.  Then it miraculously
disappeared and became thenceforth the occasion of knightly quest, the
mystic symbol of the object of the soul's desire, an adventure only to
be achieved by the maiden knight, Galahad, the son of the great
Launcelot, who in the romances had taken the place of Modred in
Geoffrey's history, as the paramour of Queen Guenever.  In like manner
the love-story of Tristan and Isolde was joined by other romancers to
the Arthur-Saga.  This came probably from Brittany or Cornwall.  Thus
there grew up a great epic cycle of Arthurian romance, with a fixed
shape and a unity and vitality which have prolonged it to our own day
and rendered it capable of a deeper and more spiritual treatment and a
more artistic {24} handling by such modern English poets as Tennyson in
his _Idyls of the King_, by Matthew Arnold, Swinburne, and many others.
There were innumerable Arthur romances in prose and verse, in
Anglo-Norman and continental French dialects, in English, in German,
and in other tongues.  But the final form which the Saga took in
mediaeval England was the prose _Morte Dartur_ of Sir Thomas Malory,
composed at the close of the 15th century.  This was a digest of the
earlier romances and is Tennyson's main authority.

Beside the literature of the knight was the literature of the cloister.
There is a considerable body of religious writing in early English,
consisting of homilies in prose and verse, books of devotion, like the
_Ancren Riwle_ (Rule of Anchoresses), 1225; the _Ayenbite of Inwyt_
(Remorse of Conscience), 1340, both in prose; the _Handlyng Sinne_,
1303; the _Cursor Mundi_, 1320; and the _Pricke of Conscience_, 1340,
in verse; metrical renderings of the Psalter, the Pater Noster, the
Creed, and the Ten Commandments, the Gospels for the Day, such as the
_Ormulum_, or Book of Orm, 1205; legends and miracles of saints; poems
in praise of virginity, on the contempt of the world, on the five joys
of the Virgin, the five wounds of Christ, the eleven pains of hell, the
seven deadly sins, the fifteen tokens of the coming judgment, and
dialogues between the soul and the body.  These were the work not only
of the monks, but also of the begging friars, and in {25} smaller part
of the secular or parish clergy.  They are full of the ascetic piety
and superstition of the Middle Age, the childish belief in the
marvelous, the allegorical interpretation of Scripture texts, the
grotesque material horrors of hell with its grisly fiends, the vileness
of the human body and the loathsome details of its corruption after
death.  Now and then a single poem rises above the tedious and hideous
barbarism of the general level of this monkish literature, either from
a more intensely personal feeling in the poet, or from an occasional
grace or beauty in his verse.  A poem so distinguished is, for example,
_A Luve Ron_ (A Love Counsel) by the Minorite friar, Thomas de Hales,
one stanza of which recalls the French poet Villon's _Balade of Dead
Ladies_, with its refrain.

      "Mais ou sont les neiges d'antan?"
      "Where are the snows of yester year?
  Where is Paris and Heleyne
      That weren so bright and fair of blee[1]
  Amadas, Tristan, and Ideyne
      Yseude and alle the,[2]
  Hector with his sharpe main,
      And Caesar rich in worldes fee?
  They beth ygliden out of the reign[3]
      As the shaft is of the dee." [4]

A few early English poems on secular subjects are also worthy of
mention, among others, _The Owl and the Nightingale_, generally
assigned to the reign of Henry III. (1216-1272), an _Estrif_, {26} or
dispute, in which the owl represents the ascetic and the nightingale
the aesthetic view of life.  The debate is conducted with much
animation and a spirited use of proverbial wisdom.  _The Land of
Cokaygne_ is an amusing little poem of some two hundred lines,
belonging to the class of _fabliaux_, short humorous tales or satirical
pieces in verse.  It describes a lubber-land, or fool's paradise, where
the geese fly down all roasted on the spit, bringing garlic in the
bills for their dressing, and where there is a nunnery upon a river of
sweet milk, and an abbey of white monks and gray, whose walls, like the
hall of little King Pepin, are "of pie-crust and pastry crust," with
flouren cakes for the shingles and fat puddings for the pins.

There are a few songs dating from about 1300, and mostly found in a
single collection (Harl, MS., 2253), which are almost the only English
verse before Chaucer that has any sweetness to a modern ear.  They are
written in French strophic forms in the southern dialect, and sometimes
have an intermixture of French and Latin lines.  They are musical,
fresh, simple, and many of them very pretty.  They celebrate the
gladness of spring with its cuckoos and throstle-cocks, its daisies and

  "When the nightingale sings the woodes waxen green
  Leaf and grass and blossom spring in Averil, I ween,
  And love is to my herte gone with a spear so keen,
  Night and day my blood it drinks my herte doth me tene."[5]

{27} Others are love plaints to "Alysoun" or some other lady whose
"name is in a note of the nightingale;" whose eyes are as gray as
glass, and her skin as "red as rose on ris." [6]  Some employ a burden
or refrain.

  "Blow, northern wind,
  Blow thou me, my sweeting.
  Blow, northern wind, blow, blow, blow!"

Others are touched with a light melancholy at the coming of winter.

  "Winter wakeneth all my care
  Now these leaves waxeth bare.
  Oft I sigh and mourne sare
  When it cometh in my thought
  Of this worldes joy, how it goeth all to nought"

Some of these poems are love songs to Christ or the Virgin, composed in
the warm language of earthly passion.  The sentiment of chivalry united
with the ecstatic reveries of the cloister had produced Mariolatry and
the imagery of the Song of Solomon, in which Christ wooes the soul, had
made this feeling of divine love familiar.  Toward the end of the 13th
century a collection of lives of saints, a sort of English _Golden
Legend_, was prepared at the great abbey of Gloucester for use on
saints' days.  The legends were chosen partly from the hagiology of the
Church Catholic, as the lives of Margaret, Christopher, and Michael;
partly from the calendar of the English Church, as the {28} lives of
St. Thomas of Canterbury, of the Anglo-Saxons, Dunstan, Swithin--who is
mentioned by Shakspere--and Kenelm, whose life is quoted by Chaucer in
the _Nonne Presto's Tale_.  The verse was clumsy and the style
monotonous, but an imaginative touch here and there has furnished a
hint to later poets.  Thus the legend of St. Brandan's search for the
earthly paradise has been treated by Matthew Arnold and William Morris.

About the middle of the 14th century there was a revival of the Old
English alliterative verse in romances like _William and the Werewolf_,
and _Sir Gawayne_, and in religious pieces such as _Clannesse_
(purity), _Patience_ and _The Perle_, the last named a mystical poem of
much beauty, in which a bereaved father sees a vision of his daughter
among the glorified.  Some of these employed rhyme as well as
alliteration.  They are in the West Midland dialect, although Chaucer
implies that alliteration was most common in the north.  "I am a
sotherne man," says the parson in the _Canterbury Tales_.  "I cannot
geste rom, ram, ruf, by my letter."  But the most important of the
alliterative poems was the _Vision of William concerning Piers the
Plowman_.  In the second half of the 14th century French had ceased to
be the mother-tongue of any considerable part of the population of
England.  By a statute of Edward III., in 1362, it was displaced from
the law courts.  By 1386 English had taken its place in the schools.
The {29} Anglo-Norman dialect had grown corrupt, and Chaucer contrasts
the French of Paris with the provincial French spoken by his prioress,
"after the scole of Stratford-atte-Bowe."  The native English genius
was also beginning to assert itself, roused in part, perhaps, by the
English victories in the wars of Edward III. against the French.  It
was the bows of the English yeomanry that won the fight at Crecy, fully
as much as the prowess of the Norman baronage.  But at home the times
were bad.  Heavy taxes and the repeated visitations of the pestilence,
or Black Death, pressed upon the poor and wasted the land.  The Church
was corrupt; the mendicant orders had grown enormously wealthy, and the
country was eaten up by a swarm of begging friars, pardoners, and
apparitors.  The social discontent was fermenting among the lower
classes, which finally issued in the communistic uprising of the
peasantry, under Wat Tyler and Jack Straw.  This state of things is
reflected in the _Vision of Piers Plowman_, written as early as 1362,
by William Langland, a tonsured clerk of the west country.  It is in
form an allegory, and bears some resemblance to the later and more
famous allegory of the _Pilgrim's Progress_.  The poet falls asleep on
the Malvern Hills, in Worcestershire, and has a vision of a "fair field
full of folk," representing the world with its various conditions of
men.  There were pilgrims and palmers; hermits with hooked staves, who
went to Walsingham--and {30} their wenches after them--great lubbers
and long that were loth to work: friars glossing the Gospel for their
own profit; pardoners cheating the people with relics and indulgences;
parish priests who forsook their parishes--that had been poor since the
pestilence time--and went to London to sing there for simony; bishops,
archbishops, and deacons, who got themselves fat clerkships in the
Exchequer, or King's Bench; in short, all manner of lazy and corrupt
ecclesiastics.  A lady, who represents holy Church, then appears to the
dreamer, explains to him the meaning of his vision, and reads him a
sermon the text of which is, "When all treasure is tried, truth is the
best."  A number of other allegorical figures are next introduced,
Conscience, Reason, Meed, Simony, Falsehood, etc., and after a series
of speeches and adventures, a second vision begins in which the seven
deadly sins pass before the poet in a succession of graphic
impersonations, and finally all the characters set out on a pilgrimage
in search of St. Truth, finding no guide to direct them save Piers the
Plowman, who stands for the simple, pious laboring man, the sound heart
of the English common folk.  The poem was originally in eight divisions
or "passus," to which was added a continuation in three parts, _Vita Do
Wel_, _Do Bet_, and _Do Best_.  About 1377 the whole was greatly
enlarged by the author.

_Piers Plowman_ was the first extended literary work after the Conquest
which was purely English in character.  It owed nothing to France but
the {31} allegorical cast which the _Roman de la Rose_ had made
fashionable in both countries.  But even here such personified
abstractions as Langland's Fair-speech and Work-when-time-is, remind us
less of the Fraunchise, Bel-amour, and Fals-semblaunt of the French
courtly allegories than of Bunyan's Mr. Worldly Wiseman, and even of
such Puritan names as Praise-God Barebones, and Zeal-of-the-land Busy.
The poem is full of English moral seriousness, of shrewd humor, the
hatred of a lie, the homely English love for reality.  It has little
unity of plan, but is rather a series of episodes, discourses,
parables, and scenes.  It is all astir with the actual life of the
time.  We see the gossips gathered in the ale-house of Betun the
brewster, and the pastry cooks in the London streets crying "Hote pies,
hote!  Good gees and grys.  Go we dine, go we!"  Had Langland not
linked his literary fortunes with an uncouth and obsolescent verse, and
had he possessed a finer artistic sense and a higher poetic
imagination, his book might have been, like Chaucer's, among the
lasting glories of our tongue.  As it is, it is forgotten by all but
professional students of literature and history.  Its popularity in its
own day is shown by the number of MSS. which are extant, and by
imitations, such as _Piers the Plowman's Crede_ (1394), and the
_Plowman's Tale_, for a long time wrongly inserted in the _Canterbury
Tales_.  Piers became a kind of typical figure, like the French
peasant, _Jacques Bonhomme_, and was {32} appealed to as such by the
Protestant reformers of the 16th century.

The attack upon the growing corruptions of the Church was made more
systematically, and from the stand-point of a theologian rather than of
a popular moralist and satirist, by John Wyclif, the rector of
Lutterworth and professor of Divinity in Baliol College, Oxford.  In a
series of Latin and English tracts he made war against indulgences,
pilgrimages, images, oblations, the friars, the pope, and the doctrine
of transubstantiation.  But his greatest service to England was his
translation of the Bible, the first complete version in the mother
tongue.  This he made about 1380, with the help of Nicholas Hereford,
and a revision of it was made by another disciple, Purvey, some ten
years later.  There was no knowledge of Hebrew or Greek in England at
that time, and the Wiclifite versions were made not from the original
tongues, but from the Latin Vulgate.  In his anxiety to make his
rendering close, and mindful, perhaps, of the warning in the
Apocalypse, "If any man shall take away from the words of the book of
this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life,"
Wiclif followed the Latin order of construction so literally as to make
rather awkward English, translating, for example, _Quid sibi vult hoc
somnium?_  by _What to itself wole this sweven?_  Purvey's revision was
somewhat freer and more idiomatic.  In the reigns of Henry IV. and V.
it was forbidden to read or to have any {33} of Wiclif's writings.
Such of them as could be seized were publicly burned.  In spite of
this, copies of his Bible circulated secretly in great numbers.
Forshall and Madden, in their great edition (1850), enumerate one
hundred and fifty MSS. which had been consulted by them.  Later
translators, like Tyndale and the makers of the Authorized Version, or
"King James' Bible" (1611), followed Wiclif's language in many
instances; so that he was, in truth, the first author of our biblical
dialect and the founder of that great monument of noble English which
has been the main conservative influence in the mother-tongue, holding
it fast to many strong, pithy words and idioms that would else have
been lost.  In 1415; some thirty years after Wiclif's death, by decree
of the Council of Constance, his bones were dug up from the soil of
Lutterworth chancel and burned, and the ashes cast into the Swift.
"The brook," says Thomas Fuller, in his _Church History_, "did convey
his ashes into Avon; Avon into Severn; Severn into the narrow seas;
they into the main ocean.  And thus the ashes of Wiclif are the emblem
of his doctrine, which now is dispersed all the world over."

Although the writings thus far mentioned are of very high interest to
the student of the English language, and the historian of English
manners and culture, they cannot be said to have much importance as
mere literature.  But in Geoffrey Chaucer (died 1400) we meet with a
poet of the first rank, whose works are increasingly read and {34} will
always continue to be a source of delight and refreshment to the
general reader as well as a "well of English undefiled" to the
professional man of letters.  With the exception of Dante, Chaucer was
the greatest of the poets of mediaeval Europe, and he remains one of
the greatest of English poets, and certainly the foremost of English
story-tellers in verse.  He was the son of a London vintner, and was in
his youth in the service of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, one of the sons
of Edward III.  He made a campaign in France in 1359-60, when he was
taken prisoner.  Afterward he was attached to the court and received
numerous favors and appointments.  He was sent on several diplomatic
missions by the king, three of them to Italy, where, in all
probability, he made the acquaintance of the new Italian literature,
the writings of Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio.  He was appointed at
different times Comptroller of the Wool Customs, Comptroller of Petty
Customs, and Clerk of the Works.  He sat for Kent in Parliament, and he
received pensions from three successive kings.  He was a man of
business as well as books, and he loved men and nature no less than
study.  He knew his world; he "saw life steadily and saw it whole."
Living at the center of English social and political life, and
resorting to the court of Edward III., then the most brilliant in
Europe, Chaucer was an eye-witness of those feudal pomps which fill the
high-colored pages of his contemporary, the French chronicler, {35}
Froissart.  His description of a tournament in the _Knight's Tale_ is
unexcelled for spirit and detail.  He was familiar with dances, feasts,
and state ceremonies, and all the life of the baronial castle, in bower
and hall, the "trompes with the loude minstralcie," the heralds, the
ladies, and the squires,

  "What hawkes sitten on the perch above,
  What houndes liggen on the floor adown."

But his sympathy reached no less the life of the lowly, the poor widow
in her narrow cottage, and that "trewe swynkere and a good," the
plowman whom Langland had made the hero of his vision.  He is, more
than all English poets, the poet of the lusty spring, of "Aprille with
her showres sweet" and the "foules song," of "May with all her floures
and her greene," of the new leaves in the wood, and the meadows new
powdered with the daisy, the mystic Marguerite of his _Legend of Good
Women_.  A fresh vernal air blows through all his pages.

In Chaucer's earlier works, such as the translation of the _Romaunt of
the Rose_ (if that be his), the _Boke of the Duchesse_, the _Parlament
of Foules_, the _Hous of Fame_, as well as in the _Legend of Good
Women_, which was later, the inspiration of the French court poetry of
the 13th and 14th centuries is manifest.  He retains in them the
mediaeval machinery of allegories  and dreams, the elaborate
descriptions of palaces, {36} temples, portraitures, etc., which had
been made fashionable in France by such poems as Guillaume de Lorris's
_Roman de la Rose_, and Jean Machault's _La Fontaine Amoureuse_.  In
some of these the influence of Italian poetry is also perceptible.
There are suggestions from Dante, for example, in the _Parlament of
Foules_ and the _Hous of Fame_, and _Troilus and Cresseide_ is a free
handling rather than a translation of Boccaccio's _Filostrato_.  In all
of these there are passages of great beauty and force.  Had Chaucer
written nothing else, he would still have been remembered as the most
accomplished English poet of his time, but he would not have risen to
the rank which he now occupies, as one of the greatest English poets of
all time.  This position he owes to his masterpiece, the _Canterbury
Tales_.  Here he abandoned the imitation of foreign models and the
artificial literary fashions of his age, and wrote of real life from
his own ripe knowledge of men and things.

The _Canterbury Tales_ are a collection of stories written at different
times, but put together, probably, toward the close of his life.  The
frame-work into which they are fitted is one of the happiest ever
devised.  A number of pilgrims who are going on horseback to the shrine
of St. Thomas a Becket, at Canterbury, meet at the Tabard Inn, in
Southwark, a suburb of London.  The jolly host of the Tabard, Harry
Bailey, proposes that on their way to Canterbury, each of the company
shall tell two tales, and two more on their way back, and {37} that the
one who tells the best shall have a supper at the cost of the rest when
they return to the inn.  He himself accompanies them as judge and
"reporter."  In the setting of the stories there is thus a constant
feeling of movement and the air of all outdoors.  The little
"head-links" and "end-links" which bind them together, give incidents
of the journey and glimpses of the talk of the pilgrims, sometimes
amounting, as in the prologue of the _Wife of Bath_, to full and almost
dramatic character-sketches.  The stories, too, are dramatically suited
to the narrators.  The general prologue is a series of such
character-sketches, the most perfect in English poetry.  The portraits
of the pilgrims are illuminated with the soft brilliancy and the minute
loving fidelity of the miniatures in the old missals, and with the same
quaint precision in traits of expression and in costume.  The pilgrims
are not all such as one would meet nowadays at an English inn.  The
presence of a knight, a squire, a yeoman archer, and especially of so
many kinds of ecclesiastics, a nun, a friar, a monk, a pardoner, and a
sompnour or apparitor, reminds us that the England of that day must
have been less like Protestant England, as we know it, than like the
Italy of some thirty years ago.  But however the outward face of
society may have changed, the Canterbury pilgrims remain, in Chaucer's
description, living and universal types of human nature.  The
_Canterbury Tales_ are twenty-four in number.  There were {38}
thirty-two pilgrims, so that if finished as designed the whole
collection would have numbered one hundred and twenty-eight stories.

Chaucer is the bright consummate flower of the English Middle Age.
Like many another great poet, he put the final touch to the various
literary forms that he found in cultivation.  Thus his _Knight's Tale_,
based upon Boccaccio's _Teseide_, is the best of English mediaeval
romances.  And yet the _Rime of Sir Thopas_, who goes seeking an elf
queen for his mate, and is encountered by the giant Sir Olifaunt,
burlesques these same romances with their impossible adventures and
their tedious rambling descriptions.  The tales of the prioress and the
second nun are saints' legends.  The _Monk's Tale_ is a set of dry,
moral apologues in the manner of his contemporary, the "moral Gower."
The stories told by the reeve, miller, friar, sompnour, shipman, and
merchant, belong to the class of _fabliaux_, a few of which existed in
English, such as _Dame Siriz_, the _Lay of the Ash_, and the _Land of
Cokaygne_, already mentioned.  The _Nonne Preste's Tale_, likewise,
which Dryden modernized with admirable humor, was of the class of
_fabliaux_, and was suggested by a little poem in forty lines, _Dou Coc
et Werpil_, by Marie de France, a Norman poetess of the 13th century.
It belonged, like the early English poem of _The Fox and the Wolf_, to
the popular animal-saga of _Reynard the Fox_.  The _Franklin's Tale_,
whose scene is Brittany, and the _Wife of Baths' {39} Tale_, which is
laid in the time of the British Arthur, belong to the class of French
_lais_, serious metrical tales shorter than the romance and of Breton
origin, the best representatives of which are the elegant and graceful
_lais_ of Marie de France.

Chaucer was our first great master of laughter and of tears.  His
serious poetry is full of the tenderest pathos.  His loosest tales are
delightfully humorous and life-like.  He is the kindliest of satirists.
The knavery, greed, and hypocrisy of the begging friars and the sellers
of indulgences are exposed by him as pitilessly as by Langland and
Wiclif, though his mood is not like theirs, one of stern, moral
indignation, but rather the good-natured scorn of a man of the world.
His charity is broad enough to cover even the corrupt sompnour of whom
he says,

  "And yet in sooth he was a good felawe."

Whether he shared Wiclif's opinions is unknown, but John of Gaunt, the
Duke of Lancaster and father of Henry IV., who was Chaucer's life-long
patron, was likewise Wiclif's great upholder against the persecution of
the bishops.  It is, perhaps, not without significance that the poor
parson in the _Canterbury Tales_, the only one of his ecclesiastical
pilgrims whom Chaucer treats with respect, is suspected by the host of
the Tabard to be a "loller," that is, a Lollard, or disciple of Wiclif,
and that because he objects to the jovial inn-keeper's swearing "by
Goddes bones."

{40} Chaucer's English is nearly as easy for a modern reader as
Shakspere's, and few of his words have become obsolete.  His verse,
when rightly read, is correct and melodious.  The early English was, in
some respects, more "sweet upon the tongue" than the modern language.
The vowels had their broad Italian sounds, and the speech was full of
soft gutturals and vocalic syllables, like the endings en, es, and e,
which made feminine rhymes and kept the consonants from coming harshly

Great poet as Chaucer was, he was not quite free from the literary
weakness of his time.  He relapses sometimes into the babbling style of
the old chroniclers and legend writers; cites "auctours" and gives long
catalogues of names and objects with a _naive_ display of learning; and
introduces vulgar details in his most exquisite passages.  There is
something childish about almost all the thought and art of the Middle
Ages--at least outside of Italy, where classical models and traditions
never quite lost their hold.  But Chaucer's artlessness is half the
secret of his wonderful ease in story-telling, and is so engaging that,
like a child's sweet unconsciousness, one would not wish it otherwise.

The _Canterbury Tales_ had shown of what high uses the English language
was capable, but the curiously trilingual condition of literature still
continued.  French was spoken in the proceedings of Parliament as late
as the reign of Henry {41} VI. (1422-1471).  Chaucer's contemporary,
John Gower, wrote his _Vox Clamantis_ in Latin, his _Speculum
Meditantis_ (a lost poem), and a number of _ballades_ in Parisian
French, and his _Confessio Amantis_ (1393) in English.  The last named
is a dreary, pedantic work, in some 15,000 smooth, monotonous,
eight-syllabled couplets, in which Grande Amour instructs the lover how
to get the love of Bel Pucell.

1. Early English Literature.  By Bernhard ten Brink.  Translated from
the German by H. M. Kennedy.  New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1883.

2. Morris and Skeat's Specimens of Early English.  (Clarendon Press
Series.)  Oxford.

3. Langland's Vision of William concerning Piers the Plowman.  Wright's
Edition; or Skeat's, in Early English Text Society publications.

4. Chaucer: Canterbury Tales.  Tyrwhitt's Edition; or Wright's, in
Percy Society publications.

5. Complete Writings.  Morris's Edition.  6 vols.  (In Aldine Series.)

[1] Hue.

[2] Those.

[3] Realm.

[4] Bowstring.

[5] Pain.

[6] Branch.





The 15th century was a barren period in English literary history.  It
was nearly two hundred years after Chaucer's death before any poet
came, whose name can be written in the same line with his.  He was
followed at once by a number of imitators who caught the trick of his
language and verse, but lacked the genius to make any fine use of them.
The manner of a true poet may be learned, but his style, in the high
sense of the word, remains his own secret.  Some of the poems which
have been attributed to Chaucer and printed in editions of his works,
as the _Court of Love_, the _Flower and the Leaf_, the _Cuckow and the
Nightingale_, are now regarded by many scholars as the work of later
writers.  If not Chaucer's, they are of Chaucer's school, and the first
two, at least, are very pretty poems after the fashion of his minor
pieces, such as the _Boke of the Duchesse_ and the _Parlament of

Among his professed disciples was Thomas Occleve, a dull rhymer, who,
in his _Governail of Princes_, a didactic poem translated from the
Latin {43} about 1413, drew, or caused to be drawn, on the margin of
his MS. a colored portrait of his "maister dere and fader reverent,"

  "This londes verray tresour and richesse,
  Dethe by thy dethe hath harm irreparable
  Unto us done; hir vengeable duresse
  Dispoiled hath this londe of the swetnesse
  Of Rhetoryk."

Another versifier of this same generation was John Lydgate, a
Benedictine monk, of the Abbey of Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, a very
prolix writer, who composed, among other things, the _Story of Thebes_,
as an addition to the _Canterbury Tales_.  His ballad of _London
Lyckpenny_, recounting the adventures of a countryman who goes to the
law courts at Westminster in search of justice,

  "But for lack of mony I could not speede,"

is of interest for the glimpse that it gives us of London street life.

Chaucer's influence wrought more fruitfully in Scotland, whither it was
carried by James I., who had been captured by the English when a boy of
eleven, and brought up at Windsor as a prisoner of State.  There he
wrote during the reign of Henry V. (1413-1422) a poem in six cantos,
entitled the _King's Quhair_ (King's Book), in Chaucer's seven lined
stanza which had been employed by Lydgate in his _Falls of Princes_
(from Boccaccio), and which was afterward called {44} the "rime royal,"
from its use by King James, The _King's Quhair_ tells how the poet, on
a May morning, looks from the window of his prison chamber into the
castle garden full of alleys, hawthorn hedges, and fair arbors set with

  "The sharpe, greene, sweete juniper."

He was listening to "the little sweete nightingale," when suddenly
casting down his eyes he saw a lady walking in the garden, and at once
his "heart became her thrall."  The incident is precisely like
Palamon's first sight of Emily in Chaucer's _Knight's Tale_, and almost
in the very words of Palamon, the poet addresses his lady:

  "Ah, sweet, are ye a worldly creature
  Or heavenly thing in likeness of nature?
  Or are ye very Nature, the goddess,
  That have depainted with your heavenly hand
  This garden full of flowres as they stand?"

Then, after a vision in the taste of the age, in which the royal
prisoner is transported in turn to the courts of _Venus_, _Minerva_,
and _Fortune_, and receives their instruction in the duties belonging
to Love's service, he wakes from sleep and a white turtle-dove brings
to his window a spray of red gillyflowers, whose leaves are inscribed,
in golden letters, with a message of encouragement.

James I. may be reckoned among the English poets.  He mentions Chaucer,
Gower, and Lydgate as his masters.  His education was English, and so
was the dialect of his poem, although the {45} unique MS. of it is in
the Scotch spelling.  The _King's Quhair_ is somewhat overladen with
ornament and with the fashionable allegorical devices, but it is, upon
the whole, a rich and tender love song, the best specimen of court
poetry between the time of Chaucer and the time of Spenser.  The lady
who walked in the garden on that May morning was Jane Beaufort, niece
to Henry IV.  She was married to her poet after his release from
captivity and became Queen of Scotland in 1424.  Twelve years later
James was murdered by Sir Robert Graham and his Highlanders, and his
wife, who strove to defend him, was wounded by the assassins.  The
story of the murder has been told of late by D. G. Rossetti, in his
ballad, _The King's Tragedy_.

The whole life of this princely singer was, like his poem, in the very
spirit of romance.

The effect of all this imitation of Chaucer was to fix a standard of
literary style, and to confirm the authority of the East-Midland
English in which he had written.  Though the poets of the 15th century
were not overburdened with genius, they had, at least, a definite model
to follow.  As in the 14th century, metrical romances continued to be
translated from the French, homilies and saints' legends and rhyming
chronicles were still manufactured.  But the poems of Occleve and
Lydgate and James I. had helped to polish and refine the tongue and to
prolong the Chaucerian tradition.  The literary English never again
slipped {46} back into the chaos of dialects which had prevailed before

In the history of every literature the development of prose is later
than that of verse.  The latter being, by its very form, artificial, is
cultivated as a fine art, and its records preserved in an early stage
of society, when prose is simply the talk of men, and not thought
worthy of being written and kept.  English prose labored under the
added disadvantage of competing with Latin, which was the cosmopolitan
tongue and the medium of communication between scholars of all
countries.  Latin was the language of the Church, and in the Middle
Ages churchman and scholar were convertible terms.  The word _clerk_
meant either priest or scholar.  Two of the _Canterbury Tales_ are in
prose, as is also the _Testament of Love_, formerly ascribed to
Chaucer, and the style of all these is so feeble, wandering, and
unformed that it is hard to believe that they were written by the same
man who wrote the _Knight's Tale_ and the story of _Griselda_.  _The
Voiage and Travaile of Sir John Maundeville_--the forerunner of that
great library of Oriental travel which has enriched our modern
literature--was written, according to its author, first in Latin, then
in French, and, lastly, in the year 1356, translated into English for
the behoof of "lordes and knyghtes and othere noble and worthi men,
that conne not Latyn but litylle."  The author professed to have spent
over thirty years in Eastern travel, to have penetrated as far {47} as
Farther India and the "iles that ben abouten Indi," to have been in the
service of the Sultan of Babylon in his wars against the Bedouins, and,
at another time, in the employ of the Great Khan of Tartary.  But there
is no copy of the Latin version of his travels extant; the French seems
to be much later than 1356, and the English MS. to belong to the early
years of the fifteenth century, and to have been made by another hand.
Recent investigations make it probable that Maundeville borrowed his
descriptions of the remoter East from many sources, and particularly
from the narrative of Odoric, a Minorite friar of Lombardy, who wrote
about 1330.  Some doubt is even cast upon the existence of any such
person as Maundeville.  Whoever wrote the book that passes under his
name, however, would seem to have visited the Holy Land, and the part
of the "voiage" that describes Palestine and the Levant is fairly close
to the truth.  The rest of the work, so far as it is not taken from the
tales of other travelers, is a diverting tissue of fables about
gryfouns that fly away with yokes of oxen, tribes of one-legged
Ethiopians who shelter themselves from the sun by using their monstrous
feet as umbrellas, etc.

During the 15th century English prose was gradually being brought into
a shape fitting it for more serious uses.  In the controversy between
the Church and the Lollards Latin was still mainly employed, but Wiclif
had written some of his tracts in English, and, in 1449, Reginald
Peacock, Bishop of {48} St. Asaph, contributed, in English, to the same
controversy, _The Represser of Overmuch Blaming of the Clergy_.  Sir
John Fortescue, who was chief-justice of the king's bench from
1442-1460, wrote during the reign of Edward IV. a book on the
_Difference between Absolute and Limited Monarchy_, which may be
regarded as the first treatise on political philosophy and
constitutional law in the language.  But these works hardly belong to
pure literature, and are remarkable only as early, though not very
good, examples of English prose in a barren time.  The 15th century was
an era of decay and change.  The Middle Age was dying, Church and State
were slowly disintegrating under the new intellectual influences that
were working secretly under ground.  In England the civil wars of the
Red and White Roses were breaking up the old feudal society by
decimating and impoverishing the baronage, thus preparing the way for
the centralized monarchy of the Tudors.  Toward the close of that
century, and early in the next, happened the four great events, or
series of events, which freed and widened men's minds, and, in a
succession of shocks, overthrew the mediaeval system of life and
thought.  These were the invention of printing, the Renascence, or
revival of classical learning, the discovery of America, and the
Protestant Reformation.

William Caxton, the first English printer, learned the art in Cologne.
In 1476 he set up his press and sign, a red pole, in the Almonry at
Westminster.  Just before the introduction of printing the demand {49}
for MS. copies had grown very active, stimulated, perhaps, by the
coming into general use of linen paper instead of the more costly
parchment.  The scriptoria of the monasteries were the places where the
transcribing and illuminating of MSS. went on, professional copyists
resorting to Westminster Abbey, for example, to make their copies of
books belonging to the monastic library.  Caxton's choice of a spot
was, therefore, significant.  His new art for multiplying copies began
to supersede the old method of transcription at the very head-quarters
of the MS. makers.  The first book that bears his Westminster imprint
was the _Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers_, translated from the
French by Anthony Woodville, Lord Rivers, a brother-in-law of Edward
IV.  The list of books printed by Caxton is interesting, as showing the
taste of the time, as he naturally selected what was most in demand.
The list shows that manuals of devotion and chivalry were still in
chief request, books like the _Order of Chivalry_, _Faits of Arms_, and
the _Golden Legend_, which last Caxton translated himself, as well as
_Reynard the Fox_, and a French version of the _Aeneid_.  He also
printed, with continuations of his own, revisions of several early
chronicles, and editions of Chaucer, Gower, and Lydgate.  A translation
of _Cicero on Friendship_, made directly from the Latin, by Thomas
Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, was printed by Caxton, but no edition of a
classical author in the original.  The new learning of the Renascence
had not, as {50} yet, taken much hold in England.  Upon the whole, the
productions of Caxton's press were mostly of a kind that may be
described as mediaeval, and the most important of them, if we except
his edition of Chaucer, was that "noble and joyous book," as Caxton
called it, _Le Morte Darthur_, written by Sir Thomas Malory in 1469,
and printed by Caxton in 1485.  This was a compilation from French
Arthur romances, and was by far the best English prose that had yet
been written.  It may be doubted, indeed, whether, for purposes of
simple story telling, the picturesque charm of Malory's style has been
improved upon.  The episode which lends its name to the whole romance,
the death of Arthur, is most impressively told, and Tennyson has
followed Malory's narrative closely, even to such details of the scene
as the little chapel by the sea, the moonlight, and the answer which
Sir Bedwere made the wounded king, when bidden to throw Excalibur into
the water, "'What saw thou there?' said the king.  'Sir,' he said, 'I
saw nothing but the waters wap and the waves wan.'"

  "I heard the ripple washing in the reeds
  And the wild water lapping on the crag."

And very touching and beautiful is the oft-quoted lament of Sir Ector
over Launcelot, in Malory's final chapter: "'Ah, Launcelot,' he said,
'thou were head of all Christian knights; and now I dare say,' said Sir
Ector, 'thou, Sir Launcelot, there thou liest, that thou were never
matched of earthly {51} knight's hand; and thou were the courtiest
knight that ever bare shield; and thou were the truest friend to thy
lover that ever bestrode horse; and thou were the truest lover of a
sinful man that ever loved woman; and thou were the kindest man that
ever strake with sword; and thou were the goodliest person ever came
among press of knights; and thou were the meekest man and the gentlest
that ever ate in hall among ladies; and thou were the sternest knight
to thy mortal foe that ever put spear in the rest.'"

Equally good, as an example of English prose narrative, was the
translation made by John Bourchier, Lord Berners, of that most
brilliant of the French chroniclers, Chaucer's contemporary, Sir John
Froissart.  Lord Berners was the English governor of Calais, and his
version of Froissart's _Chronicles_ was made in 1523-25, at the request
of Henry VIII.  In these two books English chivalry spoke its last
genuine word.  In Sir Philip Sidney the character of the knight was
merged into that of the modern gentleman.  And although tournaments
were still held in the reign of Elizabeth, and Spenser cast his _Faery
Queene_ into the form of a chivalry romance, these were but a
ceremonial survival and literary tradition from an order of things that
had passed away.  How antagonistic the new classical culture was to the
vanished ideal of the Middle Age may be read in _Toxophilus_, a
treatise on archery published in 1545, by Roger Ascham, a Greek
lecturer in Cambridge, and the {52} tutor of the Princess Elizabeth and
of Lady Jane Grey.  "In our forefathers' time, when Papistry as a
standing pool covered and overflowed all England, few books were read
in our tongue saving certain books of chivalry, as they said, for
pastime and pleasure, which, as some say, were made in monasteries by
idle monks or wanton canons: as one, for example, _Morte Arthure_, the
whole pleasure of which book standeth in two special points, in open
manslaughter and bold bawdry.  This is good stuff for wise men to laugh
at or honest men to take pleasure at.  Yet I know when God's Bible was
banished the Court, and _Morte Arthure_ received into the prince's

The fashionable school of courtly allegory, first introduced into
England by the translation of the _Romaunt of the Rose_, reached its
extremity in Stephen Hawes's _Passetyme of Pleasure_, printed by
Caxton's successor, Wynkyn de Worde, in 1517.  This was a dreary and
pedantic poem, in which it is told how Graunde Amoure, after a long
series of adventures and instructions among such shadowy personages as
Verite, Observaunce, Falshed, and Good Operacion, finally won the love
of La Belle Pucel.  Hawes was the last English poet of note whose
culture was exclusively mediaeval.  His contemporary, John Skelton,
mingled the old fashions with the new classical learning.  In his
_Bowge of Courte_ (Court Entertainment or Dole), and in others of his
earlier pieces, he used, like Hawes, Chaucer's seven-lined stanza.  But
his later {53} poems were mostly written in a verse of his own
invention, called after him _Skeltonical_.  This was a sort of
glorified doggerel, in short, swift, ragged lines, with occasional
intermixture of French and Latin.

  "Her beautye to augment.
  Dame Nature hath her lent
  A warte upon her cheke,
  Who so lyst to seke
  In her vysage a skar,
  That semyth from afar
  Lyke to the radyant star,
  All with favour fret,
  So properly it is set.
  She is the vyolet,
  The daysy delectable,
  The columbine commendable,
  The jelofer amyable;
  For this most goodly floure,
  This blossom of fressh colour,
  So Jupiter me succour,
  She florysheth new and new
  In beaute and vertew;
  _Hac claritate gemina,
  O gloriosa femina, etc._"

Skelton was a rude railing rhymer, a singular mixture of a true and
original poet with a buffoon; coarse as Rabelais, whimsical, obscure,
but always vivacious.  He was the rector of Diss, in Norfolk, but his
profane and scurrilous wit seems rather out of keeping with his
clerical character.  His _Tunnyng of Elynoure Rummyng_ is a study of
very low life, reminding one slightly of Burns's _Jolly {54} Beggars_.
His _Phyllyp Sparowe_ is a sportive, pretty, fantastic elegy on the
death of a pet bird belonging to Mistress Joanna Scroupe, of Carowe,
and has been compared to the Latin poet Catullus's elegy on Lesbia's
sparrow.  In _Speke_, _Parrot_, and _Why Come ye not to Courte?_ he
assailed the powerful Cardinal Wolsey with the most ferocious satire,
and was, in consequence, obliged to take sanctuary at Westminster,
where he died in 1529.  Skelton was a classical scholar, and at one
time tutor to Henry VIII.  The great humanist, Erasmus, spoke of him as
the "one light and ornament of British letters."  Caxton asserts that
he had read Virgil, Ovid, and Tully, and quaintly adds, "I suppose he
hath dronken of Elycon's well."

In refreshing contrast with the artificial court poetry of the 15th and
first three quarters of the 16th century, was the folk-poetry, the
popular ballad literature which was handed down by oral tradition.  The
English and Scotch ballads were narrative songs, written in a variety
of meters, but chiefly in what is known as the ballad stanza.

  "In somer, when the shawes[1] be sheyne,[2]
    And leves be large and longe,
  Hit is full merry in feyre forest
    To here the foulys song.

  "To se the dere draw to the dale,
    And leve the hilles hee,[3]
  And shadow them in the leves grene,
    Under the grene-wode tree."


It is not possible to assign a definite date to these ballads.  They
lived on the lips of the people, and were seldom reduced to writing
till many years after they were first composed and sung.  Meanwhile
they underwent repeated changes, so that we have numerous versions of
the same story.  They belonged to no particular author, but, like all
folk-lore, were handled freely by the unknown poets, minstrels, and
ballad reciters, who modernized their language, added to them, or
corrupted them, and passed them along.  Coming out of an uncertain
past, based on some dark legend of heart-break or bloodshed, they bear
no poet's name, but are _ferae naturae_, and have the flavor of wild
game.  In the forms in which they are preserved few of them are older
than the 17th century, or the latter part of the 16th century, though
many, in their original shape, are, doubtless, much older.  A very few
of the Robin Hood ballads go back to the 15th century, and to the same
period is assigned the charming ballad of the _Nut Brown Maid_ and the
famous border ballad of _Chevy Chase_, which describes a battle between
the retainers of the two great houses of Douglas and Percy.  It was
this song of which Sir Philip Sidney wrote, "I never heard the old song
of Percy and Douglas but I found myself more moved than by a trumpet;
and yet it is sung but by some blind crouder,[4] with no rougher voice
than rude style."  But the style of the ballads was not always rude.
{56} In their compressed energy of expression, in the impassioned
abrupt, yet indirect way in which they tell their tale of grief and
horror, there reside often a tragic power and art superior to any
English poetry that had been written since Chaucer, superior even to
Chaucer in the quality of intensity.  The true home of the ballad
literature was "the north country," and especially the Scotch border,
where the constant forays of moss-troopers and the raids and private
warfare of the lords of the marches supplied many traditions of
heroism, like those celebrated in the old poem of the _Battle of
Otterbourne_, and in the _Hunting of the Cheviot_, or _Chevy Chase_,
already mentioned.  Some of these are Scotch and others English; the
dialect of Lowland Scotland did not, in effect, differ much from that
of Northumberland and Yorkshire, both descended alike from the old
Northumbrian of Anglo-Saxon times.  Other ballads were shortened,
popular versions of the chivalry romances which were passing out of
fashion among educated readers in the 16th century, and now fell into
the hands of the ballad makers.  Others preserved the memory of local
countryside tales, family feuds, and tragic incidents, partly
historical and partly legendary, associated often with particular
spots.  Such are, for example, _The Dowie Dens of Yarrow_, _Fair Helen
of Kirkconnell_, _The Forsaken Bride_, and _The Twa Corbies_.  Others,
again, have a coloring of popular superstition, like the beautiful
ballad concerning {57} _Thomas of Ersyldoune_, who goes in at Eldon
Hill with an Elf queen and spends seven years in fairy land.

But the most popular of all the ballads were those which cluster about
the name of that good outlaw, Robin Hood, who, with his merry men,
hunted the forest of merry Sherwood, where he killed the king's deer
and waylaid rich travelers, but was kind to poor knights and honest
workmen.  Robin Hood is the true ballad hero, the darling of the common
people, as Arthur was of the nobles.  The names of his Confessor, Friar
Tuck; his mistress, Maid Marian; his companions, Little John,
Scathelock, and Much, the Miller's son, were as familiar as household
words.  Langland, in the 14th century, mentions "rimes of Robin Hood,"
and efforts have been made to identify him with some actual personage,
as with one of the dispossessed barons who had been adherents of Simon
de Montfort in his war against Henry III.  But there seems to be
nothing historical about Robin Hood.  He was a creation of the popular
fancy.  The game laws under the Norman kings were very oppressive, and
there were, doubtless, dim memories still cherished among the Saxon
masses of Hereward and Edric the Wild, who had defied the power of the
Conqueror, as well as of later freebooters, who had taken to the woods
and lived by plunder.  Robin Hood was a thoroughly national character.
He had the English love of fair-play, the English readiness to shake
hands and {58} make up, and keep no malice when worsted in a square
fight.  He beat and plundered the rich bishops and abbots, who had more
than their share of wealth, but he was generous and hospitable to the
distressed, and lived a free and careless life in the good green wood.
He was a mighty archer, with those national weapons, the long-bow and
the cloth-yard-shaft.  He tricked and baffled legal authority in the
person of the proud sheriff of Nottingham, thereby appealing to that
secret sympathy with lawlessness and adventure which marked the
free-born, vigorous yeomanry of England.  And finally the scenery of
the forest gives a poetic background and a never-failing charm to the
exploits of "the old Robin Hood of England" and his merry men.

The ballads came, in time, to have certain tricks of style, such as are
apt to characterize a body of anonymous folk-poetry.  Such is their use
of conventional epithets; "the red, red gold," "the good, green wood,"
"the gray goose wing."  Such are certain recurring terms of phrase like,

  "But out and spak their stepmother."

Such is, finally, a kind of sing-song repetition, which doubtless
helped the ballad singer to memorize his stock, as, for example,

  "She had'na pu'd a double rose,
  A rose but only twae."


Or again,

  "And mony ane sings o' grass, o' grass,
    And mony ane sings o' corn;
  An mony ane sings o' Robin Hood,
    Kens little whare he was born.

  It was na in the ha', the ha',
    Nor in the painted bower;
  But it was in the gude green wood,
    Amang the lily flower."

Copies of some of these old ballads were hawked about in the 16th
century, printed in black letter, "broad sides," or single sheets.
Wynkyn de Worde printed, in 1489, _A Lytell Geste of Robin Hood_, which
is a sort of digest of earlier ballads on the subject.  In the 17th
century a few of the English popular ballads were collected in
miscellanies, called _Garlands_.  Early in the 18th century the Scotch
poet, Allan Ramsay, published a number of Scotch ballads in the
_Evergreen_ and _Tea-Table Miscellany_.  But no large and important
collection was put forth until Percy's _Reliques_, 1765, a book which
had a powerful influence upon Wordsworth and Walter Scott.  In Scotland
some excellent ballads in the ancient manner were written in the 18th
century, such as Jane Elliott's _Lament for Flodden_, and the fine
ballad of Sir Patrick Spence.  Walter Scott's _Proud Maisie is in the
Wood_, is a perfect reproduction of the pregnant, indirect method of
the old ballad makers.

In 1453 Constantinople was taken by the Turks, {60} and many Greek
scholars, with their MSS., fled into Italy, where they began teaching
their language and literature, and especially the philosophy of Plato.
There had been little or no knowledge of Greek in western Europe during
the Middle Ages, and only a very imperfect knowledge of the Latin
classics.  Ovid and Statius were widely read, and so was the late Latin
poet, Boethius, whose _De Consolatione Philosophiae_ had been
translated into English by King Alfred and by Chaucer.  Little was
known of Vergil at first hand, and he was popularly supposed to have
been a mighty wizard, who made sundry works of enchantment at Rome,
such as a magic mirror and statue.  Caxton's so-called translation of
the _Aeneid_ was in reality nothing but a version of a French romance
based on Vergil's epic.  Of the Roman historians, orators, and
moralists, such as Livy, Tacitus, Caesar, Cicero, and Seneca, there was
an almost entire ignorance, as also of poets like Horace, Lucretius,
Juvenal, and Catullus.  The gradual rediscovery of the remains of
ancient art and literature which took place in the 15th century, and
largely in Italy, worked an immense revolution in the mind of Europe.
MSS. were brought out of their hiding places, edited by scholars and
spread abroad by means of the printing-press.  Statues were dug up and
placed in museums, and men became acquainted with a civilization far
more mature than that of the Middle Age, and with models of perfect
{61} workmanship in letters and the fine arts.  In the latter years of
the 15th century a number of Englishmen learned Greek in Italy and
brought it back with them to England.  William Grocyn and Thomas
Linacre, who had studied at Florence under the refugee, Demetrius
Chalcondylas, began teaching Greek, at Oxford, the former as early as
1491.  A little later John Colet, Dean of St. Paul's and the founder of
St. Paul's School, and his friend, William Lily, the grammarian and
first master of St. Paul's (1500), also studied Greek abroad, Colet in
Italy, and Lily at Rhodes and in the city of Rome.  Thomas More,
afterward the famous chancellor of Henry VIII., was among the pupils of
Grocyn and Linacre at Oxford.  Thither also, in 1497, came in search of
the new knowledge, the Dutchman, Erasmus, who became the foremost
scholar of his time.  From Oxford the study spread to the sister
university, where the first English Grecian of his day, Sir Jno. Cheke,
who "taught Cambridge and King Edward Greek," became the incumbent of
the new professorship founded about 1540.  Among his pupils was Roger
Ascham, already mentioned, in whose time St. John's College, Cambridge,
was the chief seat of the new learning, of which Thomas Nash testifies
that it "was as an universitie within itself; having more candles light
in it, every winter morning before four of the clock, than the four of
clock bell gave strokes."  Greek was not introduced at the universities
without violent {62} opposition from the conservative element, who were
nicknamed Trojans.  The opposition came in part from the priests, who
feared that the new study would sow seeds of heresy.  Yet many of the
most devout churchmen were friends of a more liberal culture, among
them Thomas More, whose Catholicism was undoubted and who went to the
block for his religion.  Cardinal Wolsey, whom More succeeded as
chancellor, was also a munificent patron of learning and founded Christ
Church College, at Oxford.  Popular education at once felt the impulse
of the new studies, and over twenty endowed grammar schools were
established in England in the first twenty years of the 16th century.
Greek became a passion even with English ladies.  Ascham in his
_Schoolmaster_, a treatise on education, published in 1570, says, that
Queen Elisabeth "readeth here now at Windsor more Greek every day, than
some prebendarie of this Church doth read Latin in a whole week."  And
in the same book he tells how calling once upon Lady Jane Grey, at
Brodegate, in Leicestershire, he "found her in her chamber reading
_Phaedon Platonis_ in Greek, and that with as much delite as some
gentlemen would read a merry tale in _Bocase_," and when he asked her
why she had not gone hunting with the rest, she answered, "I wisse, all
their sport in the park is but a shadow to that pleasure that I find in
Plato."  Ascham's _Schoolmaster_, as well as his earlier book,
_Toxophilus_, a Platonic dialogue on archery, bristles with quotations
from the Greek and Latin {63} classics, and with that perpetual
reference to the authority of antiquity on every topic that he touches,
which remained the fashion in all serious prose down to the time of

One speedy result of the new learning was fresh translations of the
Scriptures into English, out of the original tongues.  In 1525 William
Tyndal printed at Cologne and Worms his version of the New Testament
from the Greek.  Ten years later Miles Coverdale made, at Zurich, a
translation of the whole Bible from the German and the Latin.  These
were the basis of numerous later translations, and the strong beautiful
English of Tyndal's _Testament_ is preserved for the most part in our
Authorized Version (1611).  At first it was not safe to make or
distribute these early translations in England.  Numbers of copies were
brought into the country, however, and did much to promote the cause of
the Reformation.  After Henry VIII. had broken with the Pope the new
English Bible circulated freely among the people.  Tyndal and Sir
Thomas More carried on a vigorous controversy in English upon some of
the questions at issue between the Church and the Protestants.  Other
important contributions to the literature of the Reformation were the
homely sermons preached at Westminster and at Paul's Cross by Bishop
Hugh Latimer, who was burned at Oxford in the reign of Bloody Mary.
The English Book of Common Prayer was compiled in 1549-52.  More was,
perhaps, the best {64} representative of a group of scholars who wished
to enlighten and reform the Church from inside, but who refused to
follow Henry VIII. in his breach with Rome.  Dean Colet and John
Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, belonged to the same company, and Fisher
was beheaded in the same year (1535) with More, and for the same
offense, namely, refusing to take the oath to maintain the act
confirming the king's divorce from Catherine of Arragon and his
marriage with Anne Boleyn.  More's philosophy is best reflected in his
_Utopia_, the description of an ideal commonwealth, modeled on Plato's
Republic, and printed in 1516.  The name signifies "no place"
(_Outopos_), and has furnished an adjective to the language.  The
_Utopia_ was in Latin, but More's _History of Edward V. and Richard
III._, written in 1513, though not printed till 1557, was in English.
It is the first example in the tongue of a history as distinguished
from a chronicle; that is, it is a reasoned and artistic presentation
of an historic period, and not a mere chronological narrative of events.

The first three quarters of the 16th century produced no great original
work of literature in England.  It was a season of preparation, of
education.  The storms of the Reformation interrupted and delayed the
literary renascence through the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and
Queen Mary.  When Elizabeth came to the throne, in 1558, a more settled
order of things began, and a period of great national prosperity and
{65} glory.  Meanwhile the English mind had been slowly assimilating
the new classical culture, which was extended to all classes of readers
by the numerous translations of Greek and Latin authors.  A fresh
poetic impulse came from Italy.  In 1557 appeared _Tottel's
Miscellany_, containing songs and sonnets by a "new company of courtly
makers."  Most of the pieces in the volume had been written years
before, by gentlemen of Henry VIII.'s court, and circulated in MS.  The
two chief contributors were Sir Thomas Wiat, at one time English
embassador to Spain, and that brilliant noble, Henry Howard, the Earl
of Surrey, who was beheaded in 1547 for quartering the king's arms with
his own.  Both of them were dead long before their work was printed.
The pieces in _Tottel's Miscellany_ show very clearly the influence of
Italian poetry.  We have seen that Chaucer took subjects and something
more from Boccaccio and Petrarch.  But the sonnet, which Petrarch had
brought to great perfection, was first introduced into England by Wiat.
There was a great revival of sonneteering in Italy in the 16th century,
and a number of Wiat's poems were adaptations of the sonnets and
_canzoni_ of Petrarch and later poets.  Others were imitations of
Horace's satires and epistles.  Surrey introduced the Italian blank
verse into English in his translation of two books of the _Aeneid_.
The love poetry of _Tottel's Miscellany_ is polished and artificial,
like the models which it followed.  Dante's {66} Beatrice was a child,
and so was Petrarch's Laura.  Following their example, Surrey addressed
his love complaints, by way of compliment, to a little girl of the
noble Irish family of Geraldine.  The Amourists, or love sonneters,
dwelt on the metaphysics of the passion with a tedious minuteness, and
the conventional nature of their sighs and complaints may often be
guessed by an experienced reader from the titles of their poems:
"Description of the restless state of a lover, with suit to his lady to
rue on his dying heart;" "Hell tormenteth not the damned ghosts so sore
as unkindness the lover;" "The lover prayeth not to be disdained,
refused, mistrusted, nor forsaken," etc.  The most genuine utterance of
Surrey was his poem written while imprisoned in Windsor--a cage where
so many a song-bird has grown vocal.  And Wiat's little piece of eight
lines, "Of his Return from Spain," is worth reams of his amatory
affectations.  Nevertheless the writers in _Tottel's Miscellany_ were
real reformers of English poetry.  They introduced new models of style
and new metrical forms, and they broke away from the mediaeval
traditions which had hitherto obtained.  The language had undergone
some changes since Chaucer's time, which made his scansion obsolete.
The accent of many words of French origin, like _nature_, _courage_,
_virtue_, _matere_, had shifted to the first syllable, and the _e_ of
the final syllables _es_, _en_, _ed_, and _e_, had largely disappeared.
But the language of poetry tends {67} to keep up archaisms of this
kind, and in Stephen Hawes, who wrote a century after Chaucer, we still
find such lines as these:

  "But he my strokes might right well endure,
  He was so great and huge of puissance." [5]

Hawes's practice is variable in this respect, and so is his
contemporary, Skelton's.  But in Wiat and Surrey, who wrote only a few
years later, the reader first feels sure that he is reading verse
pronounced quite in the modern fashion.

But Chaucer's example still continued potent.  Spenser revived many of
his obsolete words, both in his pastorals and in his _Faery Queene_,
thereby imparting an antique remoteness to his diction, but incurring
Ben Jonson's censure, that he "writ no language."  A poem that stands
midway between Spenser and late mediaeval work of Chaucer's
school--such as Hawes's _Passetyme of Pleasure_--was the _Induction_
contributed by Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, in 1563 to a
collection of narrative poems called the _Mirrour for Magistrates_.
The whole series was the work of many hands, modeled upon Lydgate's
_Falls of Princes_ (taken from Boccaccio), and was designed as a
warning to great men of the fickleness of fortune.  The _Induction_ is
the only noteworthy part of it.  It was an allegory, written in
Chaucer's seven-lined stanza and described with a somber imaginative
power, the figure of Sorrow, her abode {68} in the "griesly lake" of
Avernus and her attendants, Remorse, Dread, Old Age, etc.  Sackville
was the author of the first regular English tragedy, _Gorboduc_, and it
was at his request that Ascham wrote the _Schoolmaster_.

Italian poetry also fed the genius of Edmund Spenser (1552-99).  While
a student at Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, he had translated some of the
_Visions of Petrarch_, and the _Visions of Bellay_, a French poet, but
it was only in 1579 that the publication of his _Shepheard's Calendar_
announced the coming of a great original poet, the first since Chaucer.
The _Shepheard's Calendar_ was a pastoral in twelve eclogues--one for
each month in the year.  There had been a great revival of pastoral
poetry in Italy and France, but, with one or two insignificant
exceptions, Spenser's were the first bucolics in English.  Two of his
eclogues were paraphrases from Clement Marot, a French Protestant poet,
whose psalms were greatly in fashion at the court of Francis I.  The
pastoral machinery had been used by Vergil and by his modern imitators,
not merely to portray the loves of Strephon and Chloe, or the idyllic
charms of rustic life; but also as a vehicle of compliment, elegy,
satire, and personal allusion of many kinds.  Spenser, accordingly,
alluded to his friends, Sidney and Harvey, as the shepherds, Astrophel
and Hobbinol, paid court to Queen Elizabeth as Cynthia, and introduced,
in the form of anagrams, names of the High-Church Bishop of London,
Aylmer, {69} and the Low-Church Archbishop Grindal.  The conventional
pastoral is a somewhat delicate exotic in English poetry, and
represents a very unreal Arcadia.  Before the end of the 17th century
the squeak of the oaten pipe had become a burden, and the only piece of
the kind which it is easy to read without some impatience is Milton's
wonderful _Lycidas_.  The _Shepheard's Calendar_, however, though it
belonged to an artificial order of literature, had the unmistakable
stamp of genius in its style.  There was a broad, easy mastery of the
resources of language, a grace, fluency, and music which were new to
English poetry.  It was written while Spenser was in service with the
Earl of Leicester, and enjoying the friendship of his nephew, the
all-accomplished Sidney, and was, perhaps, composed at the latter's
country seat of Penshurst.  In the following year Spenser went to
Ireland as private secretary to Arthur Lord Grey of Wilton, who had
just been appointed Lord Deputy of that kingdom.  After filling several
clerkships in the Irish government, Spenser received a grant of the
castle and estate of Kilcolman, a part of the forfeited lands of the
rebel Earl of Desmond.  Here, among landscapes richly wooded, like the
scenery of his own fairy land, "under the cooly shades of the green
alders by the Mulla's shore," Sir Walter Raleigh found him, in 1589,
busy upon his _Faery Queene_.  In his poem, _Colin Clouts Come Home
Again_, Spenser tells, in pastoral language, how "the shepherd of the
{70} ocean" persuaded him to go to London, where he presented him to
the Queen, under whose patronage the first three books of his great
poem were printed, in 1590.  A volume of minor poems, entitled
_Complaints_, followed in 1591, and the three remaining books of the
_Faery Queene_ in 1596.  In 1595-96 he published also his _Daphnaida_,
_Prothalamion_, and the four hymns _On Love_ and _Beauty_, and _On
Heavenly Love_ and _Heavenly Beauty_.  In 1598, in Tyrone's rebellion,
Kilcolman Castle was sacked and burned, and Spenser, with his family,
fled to London, where he died in January, 1599.

The _Faery Queene_ reflects, perhaps, more fully than any other English
work, the many-sided literary influences of the renascence.  It was the
blossom of a richly composite culture.  Its immediate models were
Ariosto's _Orlando Furioso_, the first forty cantos of which were
published in 1515, and Tasso's _Gerusalemme Liberata_, printed in 1581.
Both of these were, in subject, romances of chivalry, the first based
upon the old Charlemagne epos--Orlando being identical with the hero of
the French _Chanson de Roland_--the second upon the history of the
first Crusade, and the recovery of the Holy City from the Saracen.  But
in both of them there was a splendor of diction and a wealth of
coloring quite unknown to the rude mediaeval romances.  Ariosto and
Tasso wrote with the great epics of Homer and Vergil constantly in
mind, and all about them was the brilliant light of Italian art, in its
early freshness {71} and power.  The _Faery Queene_, too, was a tale of
knight-errantry.  Its hero was King Arthur, and its pages swarm with
the familiar adventures and figures of Gothic romance; distressed
ladies and their champions, combats with dragons and giants, enchanted
castles, magic rings, charmed wells, forest hermitages, etc.  But side
by side with these appear the fictions of Greek mythology and the
personified abstractions of fashionable allegory.  Knights, squires,
wizards, hamadryads, satyrs, and river gods, Idleness, Gluttony, and
Superstition jostle each other in Spenser's fairy land.  Descents to
the infernal shades, in the manner of Homer and Vergil, alternate with
descriptions of the Palace of Pride in the manner of the _Romaunt of
the Rose_.  But Spenser's imagination was a powerful spirit, and held
all these diverse elements in solution.  He removed them to an ideal
sphere "apart from place, withholding time," where they seem all alike
equally real, the dateless conceptions of the poet's dream.

The poem was to have been "a continued allegory or dark conceit," in
twelve books, the hero of each book representing one of the twelve
moral virtues.  Only six books and the fragment of a seventh were
written.  By way of complimenting his patrons and securing contemporary
interest, Spenser undertook to make his allegory a double one, personal
and historical, as well as moral or abstract.  Thus Gloriana, the Queen
of Faery, stands not only for Glory but for Elizabeth, {72} to whom the
poem was dedicated.  Prince Arthur is Leicester, as well as
Magnificence.  Duessa is Falsehood, but also Mary Queen of Scots.
Grantorto is Philip II. of Spain.  Sir Artegal is Justice, but likewise
he is Arthur Grey de Wilton.  Other characters shadow forth Sir Walter
Raleigh, Sir Philip Sidney, Henry IV. of France, etc.; and such public
events as the revolt of the Spanish Netherlands, the Irish rebellion,
the execution of Mary Stuart, and the rising of the northern Catholic
houses against Elizabeth are told in parable.  In this way the poem
reflects the spiritual struggle of the time, the warfare of young
England against Popery and Spain.

The allegory is not always easy to follow.  It is kept up most
carefully in the first two books, but it sat rather lightly on
Spenser's conscience, and is not of the essence of the poem.  It is an
ornament put on from the outside and detachable at pleasure.  The
"Spenserian stanza," in which the _Faery Queene_ was written, was
adapted from the _ottava riwa_ of Ariosto.  Spenser changed somewhat
the order of the rimes in the first eight lines and added a ninth line
of twelve syllables, thus affording more space to the copious
luxuriance of his style and the long-drawn sweetness of his verse.  It
was his instinct to dilate and elaborate every image to the utmost, and
his similes, especially--each of which usually fills a whole
stanza--have the pictorial amplitude of Homer's.  Spenser was, in fact,
a great painter.  His poetry {73} is almost purely sensuous.  The
personages in the _Faery Queene_ are not characters, but richly colored
figures, moving to the accompaniment of delicious music, in an
atmosphere of serene remoteness from the earth.  Charles Lamb said that
he was the poet's poet, that is, he appealed wholly to the artistic
sense and to the love of beauty.  Not until Keats did another English
poet appear so filled with the passion for all outward shapes of
beauty, so exquisitely alive to all impressions of the senses.  Spenser
was, in some respects, more an Italian than an English poet.  It is
said that the Venetian gondoliers still sing the stanzas of Tasso's
_Gerusalemme Liberata_.  It is not easy to imagine the Thames bargees
chanting passages from the _Faery Queene_.  Those English poets who
have taken strongest hold upon their public have done so by their
profound interpretation of our common life.  But Spenser escaped
altogether from reality into a region of pure imagination.  His aerial
creations resemble the blossoms of the epiphytic orchids, which have no
root in the soil, but draw their nourishment from the moisture of the

  "_Their_ birth was of the womb of morning dew,
  And _their_ conception of the glorious prime."

Among the minor poems of Spenser the most delightful were his
_Prothalamion_ and _Epithalamion_.  The first was a "spousal verse,"
made for the double wedding of the Ladies Catherine and {74} Elizabeth
Somerset, whom the poet figures as two white swans that come swimming
down the Thames, whose surface the nymphs strew with lilies, till it
appears "like a bride's chamber-floor."

  "Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song,"

is the burden of each stanza.  The _Epithalamion_ was Spenser's own
marriage song, written to crown his series of _Amoretti_, or love
sonnets, and is the most splendid hymn of triumphant love in the
language.  Hardly less beautiful than these was _Muiopotmos; or, the
Fate of the Butterfly_, an addition to the classical myth of Arachne,
the spider.  The four hymns in praise of _Love_ and _Beauty_, _Heavenly
Love_ and _Heavenly Beauty_, are also stately and noble poems, but by
reason of their abstractness and the Platonic mysticism which they
express, are less generally pleasing than the others mentioned.
Allegory and mysticism had no natural affiliation with Spenser's
genius.  He was a seer of visions, of _images_ full, brilliant, and
distinct, and not like Bunyan, Dante, or Hawthorne, a projector into
bodily shapes of _ideas_, typical and emblematic, the shadows which
haunt the conscience and the mind.

1. A First Sketch of English Literature.  By Henry Morley.

2. English Writers.  By the same.  Vol. iii.  From Chaucer to Dunbar.


3. Skeat's Specimens of English Literature, 1594-1579.  Clarendon Press

4. Morte Darthur.  Globe Edition.

5. Child's English and Scottish Ballads.  8 vols.

6. Hale's edition of Spenser.  Globe.

7. "A Royal Poet."  Irving's Sketch-Book.

[1] Woods.

[2] Bright.

[3] High.

[4] Fiddler.

[5] Trisyllable--like _creature_, _neighebour_, etc, in Chaucer.





The great age of English poetry opened with the publication of
Spenser's _Shepheard's Calendar_, in 1579, and closed with the printing
of Milton's _Samson Agonistes_, in 1671.  Within this period of little
less than a century English thought passed through many changes, and
there were several successive phases of style in our imaginative
literature.  Milton, who acknowledged Spenser as his master, and who
was a boy of eight years at Shakspere's death, lived long enough to
witness the establishment of an entirely new school of poets, in the
persons of Dryden and his contemporaries.  But, roughly speaking, the
dates above given mark the limits of one literary epoch, which may not
improperly be called the Elisabethan.  In strictness the Elisabethan
age ended with the queen's death, in 1603.  But the poets of the
succeeding reigns inherited much of the glow and splendor which marked
the diction of their forerunners; and "the spacious times of great
Elisabeth" have been, by courtesy, prolonged to the year of the
Restoration (1660).  There is a certain likeness {77} in the
intellectual products of the whole period, a largeness of utterance,
and a high imaginative cast of thought which stamp them all alike with
the queen's seal.

Nor is it by any undue stretch of the royal prerogative that the name
of the monarch has attached itself to the literature of her reign and
of the reigns succeeding hers.  The expression "Victorian poetry" has a
rather absurd sound when one considers how little Victoria counts for
in the literature of her time.  But in Elisabethan poetry the maiden
queen is really the central figure.  She is Cynthia, she is Thetis,
great queen of shepherds and of the sea; she is Spenser's Gloriana, and
even Shakspere, the most impersonal of poets, paid tribute to her in
_Henry VIII_., and, in a more delicate and indirect way, in the little
allegory introduced into _Midsummer Night's Dream_.

  "That very time I marked--but thou could'st not--
  Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
  Cupid all armed.  A certain aim he took
  At a fair vestal throned by the west,
  And loosed his love-shaft smartly from his bow
  As he would pierce a hundred thousand hearts.
  But I might see young Cupid's fiery dart
  Quenched in the chaste beams of the watery moon,
  And the imperial votaress passed on
  In maiden meditation, fancy free"--

an allusion to Leicester's unsuccessful suit for Elisabeth's hand.

The praises of the queen, which sound through {78} all the poetry of
her time, seem somewhat overdone to a modern reader.  But they were not
merely the insipid language of courtly compliment.  England had never
before had a female sovereign, except in the instance of the gloomy and
bigoted Mary.  When she was succeeded by her more brilliant sister, the
gallantry of a gallant and fantastic age was poured at the latter's
feet, the sentiment of chivalry mingling itself with loyalty to the
crown.  The poets idealized Elisabeth.  She was to Spenser, to Sidney,
and to Raleigh, not merely a woman and a virgin queen, but the champion
of Protestantism, the lady of young England, the heroine of the
conflict against popery and Spain.  Moreover Elisabeth was a great
woman.  In spite of the vanity, caprice, and ingratitude which
disfigured her character, and the vacillating, tortuous policy which
often distinguished her government, she was at bottom a sovereign of
large views, strong will, and dauntless courage.  Like her father, she
"loved a _man_," and she had the magnificent tastes of the Tudors.  She
was a patron of the arts, passionately fond of shows and spectacles,
and sensible to poetic flattery.  In her royal progresses through the
kingdom, the universities and the nobles and the cities vied with one
another in receiving her with plays, revels, masques, and triumphs, in
the mythological taste of the day.  "When the queen paraded through a
country town," says Warton, the historian of English poetry, "almost
every {79} pageant was a pantheon.  When she paid a visit at the house
of any of her nobility, at entering the hall she was saluted by the
Penates.  In the afternoon, when she condescended to walk in the
garden, the lake was covered with tritons and nereids; the pages of the
family were converted into wood-nymphs, who peeped from every bower;
and the footmen gamboled over the lawns in the figure of satyrs.  When
her majesty hunted in the park she was met by Diana who, pronouncing
our royal prude to be the brightest paragon of unspotted chastity,
invited her to groves free from the intrusions of Acteon."  The most
elaborate of these entertainments of which we have any notice, were,
perhaps, the games celebrated in her honor by the Earl of Leicester,
when she visited him at Kenilworth, in 1575.  An account of these was
published by a contemporary poet, George Gascoigne, _The Princely
Pleasures at the Court of Kenilworth_, and Walter Scott has made them
familiar to modern readers in his novel of _Kenilworth_.  Sidney was
present on this occasion, and, perhaps, Shakspere, then a boy of
eleven, and living at Stratford, not far off, may have been taken to
see the spectacle, may have seen Neptune, riding on the back of a huge
dolphin in the castle lake, speak the copy of verses in which he
offered his trident to the empress of the sea, and may have

      "heard a mermaid on a dolphin's back,
  Utter such dulcet and harmonious breath,
  That the rude sea grew civil at the sound."

{80} But in considering the literature of Elisabeth's reign it will be
convenient to speak first of the prose.  While following up Spenser's
career to its close (1599), we have, for the sake of unity of
treatment, anticipated somewhat the literary history of the twenty
years preceding.  In 1579 appeared a book which had a remarkable
influence on English prose.  This was John Lyly's _Euphues, the Anatomy
of Wit_.  It was in form a romance, the history of a young Athenian who
went to Naples to see the world and get an education; but it is in
substance nothing but a series of dialogues on love, friendship,
religion, etc., written in language which, from the title of the book,
has received the name of _Euphuism_.  This new English became very
fashionable among the ladies, and "that beauty in court which could not
parley Euphuism," says a writer of 1632, "was as little regarded as she
which now there speaks not French."

Walter Scott introduced a Euphuist into his novel the _Monastery_, but
the peculiar jargon which Sir Piercie Shafton is made to talk is not at
all like the real Euphuism.  That consisted of antithesis,
alliteration, and the profuse illustration of every thought by
metaphors borrowed from a kind of fabulous natural history.  "Descend
into thine own conscience and consider with thyself the great
difference between staring and stark-blind, wit and wisdom, love and
lust; be merry, but with modesty; be sober, but not too sullen; {81} be
valiant, but not too venturous."  "I see now that, as the fish
_Scolopidus_ in the flood _Araxes_ at the waxing of the moon is as
white as the driven snow, and at the waning as black as the burnt coal;
so Euphues, which at the first increasing of our familiarity was very
zealous, is now at the last cast become most faithless."  Besides the
fish _Scolopidus_, the favorite animals of Lyly's menagerie are such as
the chameleon, which, "though he have most guts draweth least breath;"
the bird _Piralis_, "which sitting upon white cloth is white, upon
green, green;" and the serpent _Porphirius_, which, "though he be full
of poison, yet having no teeth, hurteth none but himself."

Lyly's style was pithy and sententious, and his sentences have the air
of proverbs or epigrams.  The vice of Euphuism was its monotony.  On
every page of the book there was something pungent, something quotable;
but many pages of such writing became tiresome.  Yet it did much to
form the hitherto loose structure of English prose, by lending it point
and polish.  His carefully balanced periods were valuable lessons in
rhetoric, and his book became a manual of polite conversation and
introduced that fashion of witty repartee, which is evident enough in
Shakspere's comic dialogue.  In 1580 appeared the second part, _Euphues
and his England_, and six editions of the whole work were printed
before 1598.  Lyly had many imitators.  In Stephen Gosson's _School
{82} of Abuse_, a tract directed against the stage and published about
four months later than the first part of Euphues, the language is
distinctly Euphuistic.  The dramatist, Robert Greene, published, in
1587, his _Menaphon; Camilla's Alarum to Slumbering Euphues_, and his
_Euphues's Censure to Philautus_.  His brother dramatist, Thomas Lodge,
published; in 1590, _Rosalynde: Euphues's Golden Legacy_, from which
Shakspere took the plot of _As You Like It_.  Shakspere and Ben Jonson
both quote from _Euphues_ in their plays, and Shakspere was really
writing Euphuism, when he wrote such a sentence as "Tis true, 'tis
pity; pity 'tis 'tis true."

That knightly gentleman, Philip Sidney, was a true type of the lofty
aspiration and manifold activity of Elizabethan England.  He was
scholar, poet, courtier, diplomatist, statesman, soldier, all in one.
Educated at Oxford and then introduced at court by his uncle, the Earl
of Leicester, he had been sent to France when a lad of eighteen, with
the embassy which went to treat of the queen's proposed marriage to the
Duke of Alencon, and was in Paris at the time of the Massacre of St.
Bartholomew, in 1572.  Afterward he had traveled through Germany,
Italy, and the Netherlands, had gone as embassador to the Emperor's
Court, and every-where won golden opinions.  In 1580, while visiting
his sister Mary, Countess of Pembroke, at Wilton, he wrote, for her
pleasure, the _Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia_, which {83} remained in
MS. till 1590.  This was a pastoral romance, after the manner of the
Italian _Arcadia_ of Sanazzaro, and the _Diana Enamorada_ of
Montemayor, a Portuguese author.  It was in prose, but intermixed with
songs and sonnets, and Sidney finished only two books and a portion of
a third.  It describes the adventures of two cousins, Musidorus and
Pyrocles, who are wrecked on the coast of Sparta.  The plot is very
involved and is full of the stock episodes of romance: disguises,
surprises, love intrigues, battles, jousts and single combats.
Although the insurrection of the Helots against the Spartans forms a
part of the story, the Arcadia is not the real Arcadia of the Hellenic
Peloponnesus, but the fanciful country of pastoral romance, an unreal
clime, like the Faery Land of Spenser.

Sidney was our first writer of poetic prose.  The poet Drayton says
that he

          "did first reduce
  Our tongue from Lyly's writing, then in use,
  Talking of stones, stars, plants, of fishes, flies,
  Playing with words and idle similes."

Sidney was certainly no Euphuist, but his style was as "Italianated" as
Lyly's, though in a different way.  His English was too pretty for
prose.  His "Sidneian showers of sweet discourse" sowed every page of
the _Arcadia_ with those flowers of conceit, those sugared fancies
which his contemporaries loved, but which the taste of a severer {84}
age finds insipid.  This splendid vice of the Elisabethan writers
appears in Sidney, chiefly in the form of an excessive personification.
If he describes a field full of roses, he makes "the roses add such a
ruddy show unto it, as though the field were bashful at his own
beauty."  If he describes ladies bathing in a stream, he makes the
water break into twenty bubbles, as "not content to have the picture of
their face in large upon him, but he would in each of those bubbles set
forth the miniature of them."  And even a passage which should be
tragic, such as the death of his heroine, Parthenia, he embroiders with
conceits like these: "For her exceeding fair eyes having with continued
weeping got a little redness about them, her round sweetly swelling
lips a little trembling, as though they kissed their neighbor Death; in
her cheeks the whiteness striving by little and little to get upon the
rosiness of them; her neck, a neck indeed of alabaster, displaying the
wound which with most dainty blood labored to drown his own beauties;
so as here was a river of purest red, there an island of perfectest
white," etc.

The _Arcadia_, like _Euphues_, was a lady's book.  It was the favorite
court romance of its day, but it surfeits a modern reader with its
sweetness, and confuses him with its tangle of adventures.  The lady
for whom it was written was the mother of that William Herbert, Earl of
Pembroke, to whom Shakspere's sonnets are thought to have been {85}
dedicated.  And she was the subject of Ben Jonson's famous epitaph.

  "Underneath this sable herse
  Lies the subject of all verse,
  Sidney's sister, Pembroke's mother;
  Death, ere thou hast slain another
  Learn'd and fair and good as she,
  Time shall throw a dart at thee."

Sidney's _Defense of Poesy_, composed in 1581, but not printed till
1595, was written in manlier English than the _Arcadia_, and is one of
the very few books of criticism belonging to a creative and uncritical
time.  He was also the author of a series of love sonnets, _Astrophel
and Stella_, in which he paid Platonic court to the Lady Penelope Rich
(with whom he was not at all in love), according to the conventional
usage of the amourists.

Sidney died in 1586, from a wound received in a cavalry charge at
Zutphen, where he was an officer in the English contingent, sent to
help the Dutch against Spain.  The story has often been told of his
giving his cup of water to a wounded soldier with the words, "Thy
necessity is yet greater than mine."  Sidney was England's darling, and
there was hardly a poet in the land from whom his death did not obtain
"the meed of some melodious tear."  Spenser's _Ruins of Time_ were
among the number of these funeral songs; but the best of them all was
by one Matthew Royden, concerning whom little is known.

{86} Another typical Englishman of Elisabeth's reign was Walter
Raleigh, who was even more versatile than Sidney, and more
representative of the restless spirit of romantic adventure, mixed with
cool, practical enterprise that marked the times.  He fought against
the Queen's enemies by land and sea in many quarters of the globe; in
the Netherlands and in Ireland against Spain, with the Huguenot Army
against the League in France.  Raleigh was from Devonshire, the great
nursery of English seamen.  He was half-brother to the famous
navigator, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, and cousin to another great captain,
Sir Richard Grenville.  He sailed with Gilbert on one of his voyages
against the Spanish treasure fleet, and in 1591 he published a report
of the fight, near the Azores, between Grenville's ship, the Revenue,
and fifteen great ships of Spain, an action, said Francis Bacon,
"memorable even beyond credit, and to the height of some heroical
fable."  Raleigh was active in raising a fleet against the Spanish
Armada of 1588.  He was present in 1596 at the brilliant action in
which the Earl of Essex "singed the Spanish king's beard," in the
harbor of Cadiz.  The year before he had sailed to Guiana, in search of
the fabled El Dorado, destroying on the way the Spanish town of San
Jose, in the West Indies; and on his return he published his _Discovery
of the Empire of Guiana_.  In 1597 he captured the town of Fayal, in
the Azores.  He took a prominent part in colonizing {87} Virginia, and
he introduced tobacco and the potato plant into Europe.

America was still a land of wonder and romance, full of rumors,
nightmares, and enchantments.  In 1580, when Francis Drake, "the
Devonshire Skipper," had dropped anchor in Plymouth harbor, after his
voyage around the world, the enthusiasm of England had been mightily
stirred.  These narratives of Raleigh, and the similar accounts of the
exploits of the bold sailors, Davis, Hawkins, Frobisher, Gilbert, and
Drake; but especially the great cyclopedia of nautical travel,
published by Richard Hakluyt, in 1589, _The Principal Navigations,
Voyages, and Discoveries made by the English Nation_, worked powerfully
on the imaginations of the poets.  We see the influence of this
literature of travel in the _Tempest_, written undoubtedly after
Shakspere had been reading the narrative of Sir George Somers's
shipwreck on the Bermudas or "Isles of Devils."

Raleigh was not in favor with Elizabeth's successor, James I.  He was
sentenced to death on a trumped-up charge of high treason.  The
sentence hung over him until 1618, when it was revived against him and
he was beheaded.  Meanwhile, during his twelve years' imprisonment in
the Tower, he had written his _magnum opus_, the _History of the
World_.  This is not a history, in the modern sense, but a series of
learned dissertations on law, government, theology, magic, war, etc.  A
chapter with such a caption as the following {88} would hardly be found
in a universal history nowadays: "Of their opinion which make Paradise
as high as the moon; and of others which make it higher than the middle
region of the air."  The preface and conclusion are noble examples of
Elisabethan prose, and the book ends with an oft-quoted apostrophe to
Death.  "O eloquent, just: and mighty Death!  Whom none could advise,
thou has persuaded; what none hath dared, thou hast done; and whom all
the world hath flattered, thou only hast cast out of the world and
despised; thou hast drawn together all the far-fetched greatness, all
the pride, cruelty, and ambition of man, and covered it all over with
these two narrow words, _hic jacet_."

Although so busy a man, Raleigh found time to be a poet.  Spenser calls
him "the summer's nightingale," and George Puttenham, in his _Art of
English Poesy_ (1589), finds his "vein most lofty, insolent, and
passionate."  Puttenham used _insolent_ in its old sense, _uncommon_;
but this description is hardly less true, if we accept the word in its
modern meaning.  Raleigh's most notable verses, _The Lie_, are a
challenge to the world, inspired by indignant pride and the weariness
of life--the _saeva indignatio_ of Swift.  The same grave and caustic
melancholy, the same disillusion marks his quaint poem, _The
Pilgrimage_.  It is remarkable how many of the verses among his few
poetical remains are asserted in the MSS. or by tradition to have been
"made by Sir Walter {89} Raleigh the night before he was beheaded."  Of
one such poem the assertion is probably true, namely, the lines "found
in his Bible in the gate-house at Westminster."

  "Even such is Time, that takes in trust,
    Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
  And pays as but with earth and dust;
    Who in the dark and silent grave,
  When we have wandered all our ways,
  Shuts up the story of our days;
  But from this earth, this grave, this dust,
  My God shall raise me up, I trust!"

The strictly _literary_ prose of the Elisabethan period bore a small
proportion to the verse.  Many entire departments of prose literature
were as yet undeveloped.  Fiction was represented--outside of the
_Arcadia_ and _Euphues_ already mentioned--chiefly by tales translated
or imitated from Italian _novelle_.  George Turberville's _Tragical
Tales_ (1566) was a collection of such stories, and William Paynter's
_Palace of Pleasure_ (1576-1577) a similar collection from Boccaccio's
_Decameron_ and the novels of Bandello.  These translations are mainly
of interest, as having furnished plots to the English dramatists.
Lodge's _Rosalind_ and Robert Greene's _Pandosto_, the sources
respectively of Shakspere's _As You Like It_ and _Winter's Tale_, are
short pastoral romances, not without prettiness in their artificial
way.  The satirical pamphlets of Thomas Nash and his fellows, against
"Martin Marprelate," an anonymous writer, or {90} company of writers,
who attacked the bishops, are not wanting in wit, but are so cumbered
with fantastic whimsicalities, and so bound up with personal quarrels,
that oblivion has covered them.  The most noteworthy of them were
Nash's _Piers Penniless's Supplication to the Devil_, Lyly's _Pap with
a Hatchet_, and Greene's _Groat's Worth of Wit_.  Of books which were
not so much literature as the material of literature, mention may be
made of the _Chronicle of England_, compiled by Ralph Holinshed in
1577.  This was Shakspere's English history, and its strong Lancastrian
bias influenced Shakspere in his representation of Richard III. and
other characters in his historical plays.  In his Roman tragedies
Shakspere followed closely Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's
_Lives_, made in 1579 from the French version of Jacques Amyot.

Of books belonging to other departments than pure literature, the most
important was Richard Hooker's _Ecclesiastical Polity_, the first four
books of which appeared in 1594.  This was a work on the philosophy of
law and a defense, as against the Presbyterians, of the government of
the English Church by bishops.  No work of equal dignity and scope had
yet been published in English prose.  It was written in sonorous,
stately and somewhat involved periods, in a Latin rather than an
English idiom, and it influenced strongly the diction of later writers,
such as Milton and Sir Thomas Browne.  Had the _Ecclesiastical Polity_
been written one hundred, or perhaps even fifty, {91} years earlier, it
would doubtless have been written in Latin.

The life of Francis Bacon, "the father of inductive philosophy," as he
has been called--better, the founder of inductive logic--belongs to
English history, and the bulk of his writings, in Latin and English, to
the history of English philosophy.  But his volume of _Essays_ was a
contribution to general literature.  In their completed form they
belong to the year 1625, but the first edition was printed in 1597 and
contained only ten short essays, each of them rather a string of
pregnant maxims--the text for an essay--than that developed treatment
of a subject which we now understand by the word essay.  They were,
said their author, "as grains of salt that will rather give you an
appetite than offend you with satiety."  They were the first essays
so-called in the language.  "The word," said Bacon, "is late, but the
thing is ancient."  The word he took from the French _essais_ of
Montaigne, the first two books of which had been published in 1592.
Bacon testified that his essays were the most popular of his writings
because they "came home to men's business and bosoms."  Their alternate
title explains their character: _Counsels Civil and Moral_, that is,
pieces of advice touching the conduct of life, "of a nature whereof men
shall find much in experience, little in books."  The essays contain
the quintessence of Bacon's practical wisdom, his wide knowledge of the
world of {92} men.  The truth and depth of his sayings, and the extent
of ground which they cover, as well as the weighty compactness of his
style, have given many of them the currency of proverbs.  "Revenge is a
kind of wild justice."  "He that hath wife and children hath given
hostages to fortune."  "There is no excellent beauty that hath not some
strangeness in the proportion."  Bacon's reason was illuminated by a
powerful imagination, and his noble English rises now and then, as in
his essay _On Death_, into eloquence--the eloquence of pure thought,
touched gravely and afar off by emotion.  In general, the atmosphere of
his intellect is that _lumen siccum_ which he loved to commend, "not
drenched or bloodied by the affections."  Dr. Johnson said that the
wine of Bacon's writings was a dry wine.

A popular class of books in the 17th century were "characters" or
"witty descriptions of the properties of sundry persons," such as the
Good Schoolmaster, the Clown, the Country Magistrate; much as in some
modern _Heads of the People_ where Douglas Jerrold or Leigh Hunt
sketches the Medical Student, the Monthly Nurse, etc.  A still more
modern instance of the kind is George Eliot's _Impressions of
Theophrastus Such_, which derives its title from the Greek philosopher,
Theophrastus, whose character-sketches were the original models of this
kind of literature.  The most popular character-book in Europe in the
17th century was La Bruyere's _Caracteres_.  But {93} this was not
published till 1588.  In England the fashion had been set in 1614, by
the _Characters_ of Sir Thomas Overbury, who died by poison the year
before his book was printed.  One of Overbury's sketches--the _Fair and
Happy Milkmaid_--is justly celebrated for its old-world sweetness and
quaintness.  "Her breath is her own, which scents all the year long of
June, like a new-made hay-cock.  She makes her hand hard with labor,
and her heart soft with pity; and when winter evenings fall early,
sitting at her merry wheel, she sings defiance to the giddy wheel of
fortune.  She bestows her year's wages at next fair, and, in choosing
her garments, counts no bravery in the world like decency.  The garden
and bee-hive are all her physic and surgery, and she lives the longer
for it.  She dares go alone and unfold sheep in the night, and fears no
manner of ill, because she means none; yet to say truth, she is never
alone, but is still accompanied with old songs, honest thoughts and
prayers, but short ones.  Thus lives she, and all her care is she may
die in the spring-time, to have store of flowers stuck upon her

England was still merry England in the times of good Queen Bess, and
rang with old songs, such as kept this milkmaid company; songs, said
Bishop Joseph Hall, which were "sung to the wheel and sung unto the
pail."  Shakspere loved their simple minstrelsy; he put some of them
into the mouth of Ophelia, and scattered snatches of {94} them through
his plays, and wrote others like them himself:

  "Now, good Cesario, but that piece of song,
  That old and antique song we heard last night,
  Methinks it did relieve my passion much,
  More than light airs and recollected terms
  Of these most brisk and giddy-paced times.
  Mark it, Cesario, it is old and plain.
  The knitters and the spinners in the sun
  And the free maids that weave their threads with bones
  Do use to chant it; it is silly sooth
  And dallies with the innocence of love
  Like the old age."

Many of these songs, so natural, fresh, and spontaneous, together with
sonnets and other more elaborate forms of lyrical verse, were printed
in miscellanies, such as the _Passionate Pilgrim_, _England's Helicon_,
and Davison's _Poetical Rhapsody_.  Some were anonymous, or were by
poets of whom little more is known than their names.  Others were by
well-known writers, and others, again, were strewn through the plays of
Lyly, Shakspere, Jonson, Beaumont, Fletcher, and other dramatists.
Series of love sonnets, like Spenser's _Amoretti_ and Sidney's
_Astrophel and Stella_, were written by Shakspere, Daniel, Drayton,
Drummond, Constable, Watson, and others, all dedicated to some mistress
real or imaginary.  Pastorals, too, were written in great number, such
as William Browne's _Britannia's Pastorals_ and _Shephera's Pipe_
(1613-1616) and Marlowe's charmingly rococo little idyl, {95} _The
Passionate Shepherd to his Love_, which Shakspere quoted in the _Merry
Wives of Windsor_, and to which Sir Walter Raleigh wrote a reply.
There were love stories in verse, like Arthur Brooke's _Romeo and
Juliet_ (the source of Shakspere's tragedy), Marlowe's fragment, _Hero
and Leander_, and Shakspere's _Venus and Adonis_, and _Rape of
Lucrece_, the first of these on an Italian and the other three on
classical subjects, though handled in any thing but a classical manner.
Wordsworth said finely of Shakspere, that he "could not have written an
epic: he would have died of a plethora of thought."  Shakspere's two
narrative poems, indeed, are by no means models of their kind.  The
current of the story is choked at every turn, though it be with golden
sand.  It is significant of his dramatic habit of mind that dialogue
and soliloquy usurp the place of narration, and that, in the _Rape of
Lucrece_ especially, the poet lingers over the analysis of motives and
feelings, instead of hastening on with the action, as Chaucer, or any
born story-teller, would have done.

In Marlowe's poem there is the same spendthrift fancy, although not the
same subtlety.  In the first two divisions of the poem the story does,
in some sort, get forward; but in the continuation, by George Chapman
(who wrote the last four "sestiads"), the path is utterly lost, "with
woodbine and the gadding vine o'ergrown."

One is reminded that modern poetry, if it has {96} lost in richness,
has gained in directness, when one compares any passage in Marlowe and
Chapman's _Hero and Leander_ with Byron's ringing lines:

  "The wind is high on Helle's wave,
  As on that night of stormy water,
  When Love, who sent, forgot to save
  The young, the beautiful, the brave,
  The lonely hope of Sestos' daughter."

Marlowe's continuator, Chapman, wrote a number of plays, but he is best
remembered by his royal translation of Homer, issued in parts from
1598-1615.  This was not so much a literal translation of the Greek, as
a great Elisabethan poem, inspired by Homer.  It has Homer's fire, but
not his simplicity; the energy of Chapman's fancy kindling him to run
beyond his text into all manner of figures and conceits.  It was
written, as has been said, as Homer would have written if he had been
an Englishman of Chapman's time.  Certainly all later versions--Pope's
and Cowper's and Lord Derby's and Bryant's--seem pale against the
glowing exuberance of Chapman's English.  His verse was not the heroic
line of ten syllables, chosen by most of the standard translators, but
the long fourteen-syllabled measure, which degenerates easily into
sing-song in the hands of a feeble metrist.  In Chapman it is often
harsh, but seldom tame, and in many passages it reproduces wonderfully
the ocean-like roll of Homer's hexameters.


  "From his bright helm and shield did burn a most unwearied fire,
  Like rich Autumnus' golden lamp, whose brightness men admire,
  Past all the other host of stars when, with his cheerful face,
  Fresh washed in lofty ocean waves, he doth the sky enchase."

Keats's fine ode, _On First Looking into Chapman's Homer_, is
well-known.  Fairfax's version of Tasso's _Jerusalem Delivered_ (1600)
is one of the best metrical translations in the language.

The national pride in the achievements of Englishmen, by land and sea,
found expression, not only in prose chronicles and in books, like
Stow's _Survey of London_, and Harrison's _Description of England_
(prefixed to Holinshed's _Chronicle_), but in long historical and
descriptive poems, like William Warner's _Albion's England_, 1586;
Samuel Daniel's _History of the Civil Wars_, 1595-1602; Michael
Drayton's _Baron's Wars_, 1596, _England's Heroical Epistles_, 1598,
and _Polyolbion_, 1613.  The very plan of these works was fatal to
their success.  It is not easy to digest history and geography into
poetry.  Drayton was the most considerable poet of the three, but his
_Polyolbion_ was nothing more than "a gazeteer in rime," a
topographical survey of England and Wales, with tedious
personifications of rivers, mountains, and valleys, in thirty books and
nearly one hundred thousand lines.  It was Drayton who said of Marlowe,
that he "had in him those brave translunary things that the first poets
had;" and there are brave {98} things in Drayton, but they are only
occasional passages, oases among dreary wastes of sand.  His
_Agincourt_ is a spirited war-song, and his _Nymphidia; or, Court of
Faery_, is not unworthy of comparison with Drake's _Culprit Fay_, and
is interesting as bringing in Oberon and Robin Goodfellow, and the
popular fairy lore of Shakspere's _Midsummer Night's Dream_.

The "well-languaged Daniel," of whom Ben Jonson said that he was "a
good honest man, but no poet," wrote, however, one fine meditative
piece, his _Epistle to the Countess of Cumberland_, a sermon apparently
on the text of the Roman poet Lucretius's famous passage in praise of

  "Suave mari magno, turbantibus aequora ventis," etc.

But the Elisabethan genius found its fullest and truest expression in
the drama.  It is a common phenomenon in the history of literature that
some old literary form or mold will run along for centuries without
having any thing poured into it worth keeping, until the moment comes
when the genius of the time seizes it and makes it the vehicle of
immortal thought and passion.  Such was in England the fortune of the
stage play.  At a time when Chaucer was writing character-sketches that
were really dramatic, the formal drama consisted of rude miracle plays
that had no literary quality whatever.  These were taken from the Bible
and acted at first by the priests as illustrations of Scripture history
and additions to the {99} church service on feasts and saints' days.
Afterward the town guilds, or incorporated trades, took hold of them
and produced them annually on scaffolds in the open air.  In some
English cities, as Coventry and Chester, they continued to be performed
almost to the close of the 16th century.  And in the celebrated Passion
Play, at Oberammergau, in Bavaria, we have an instance of a miracle
play that has survived to our own day.  These were followed by the
moral plays, in which allegorical characters, such as Clergy, Lusty
Juventus, Riches, Folly, and Good Demeanaunce, were the persons of the
drama.  The comic character in the miracle plays had been the Devil,
and he was retained in some of the moralities side by side with the
abstract vice, who became the clown or fool of Shaksperian comedy.  The
"formal Vice, Iniquity," as Shakspere calls him, had it for his
business to belabor the roaring Devil with his wooden sword

  . . "with his dagger of lath
  In his rage and his wrath
  Cries 'Aha!' to the Devil,
  'Pare your nails, Goodman Evil!'"

He survives also in the harlequin of the pantomimes, and in Mr. Punch,
of the puppet shows, who kills the Devil and carries him off on his
back, when the latter is sent to fetch him to hell for his crimes.

Masques and interludes--the latter a species of {100} short farce--were
popular at the Court of Henry VIII.  Elisabeth was often entertained at
the universities or at the inns of court with Latin plays, or with
translations from Seneca, Euripides, and Ariosto.  Original comedies
and tragedies began to be written, modeled upon Terence, and Seneca,
and chronicle histories founded on the annals of English kings.  There
was a Master of the Revels at court, whose duty it was to select plays
to be performed before the queen, and these were acted by the children
of the Royal Chapel, or by the choir boys of St. Paul's Cathedral.
These early plays are of interest to students of the history of the
drama, and throw much light upon the construction of later plays, like
Shakspere's; but they are rude and inartistic, and without any literary

There were also private companies of actors maintained by wealthy
noblemen, like the Earl of Leicester, and bands of strolling players,
who acted in inn-yards and bear-gardens.  It was not until stationary
theaters were built and stock companies of actors regularly licensed
and established, that any plays were produced which deserve the name of
literature.  In 1576 the first play-house was built in London.  This
was the _Black Friars_, which was located within the liberties of the
dissolved monastery of the Black Friars, in order to be outside of the
jurisdiction of the Mayor and Corporation, who were Puritan, and
determined in their opposition to the stage.  For the same reason the
{101} _Theater_ and the _Curtain_ were built in the same year, outside
the city walls in Shoreditch.  Later the _Rose_, the _Globe_, and the
_Swan_, were erected on the Bankside, across the Thames, and play-goers
resorting to them were accustomed to "take boat."

These early theaters were of the rudest construction.  The six-penny
spectators, or "groundlings," stood in the yard, or pit, which had
neither floor nor roof.  The shilling spectators sat on the stage,
where they were accommodated with stools and tobacco pipes, and whence
they chaffed the actors or the "opposed rascality" in the yard.  There
was no scenery, and the female parts were taken by boys.  Plays were
acted in the afternoon.  A placard, with the letters "Venice," or
"Rome," or whatever, indicated the place of the action.  With such rude
appliances must Shakspere bring before his audience the midnight
battlements of Elsinore and the moonlit garden of the Capulets.  The
dramatists had to throw themselves upon the imagination of their
public, and it says much for the imaginative temper of the public of
that day, that it responded to the appeal.  It suffered the poet to
transport it over wide intervals of space and time, and "with aid of
some few foot and half-foot words, fight over York and Lancaster's long
jars."  Pedantry undertook, even at the very beginnings of the
Elisabethan drama, to shackle it with the so-called rules of Aristotle,
or classical unities of time and place, {102} to make it keep violent
action off the stage and comedy distinct from tragedy.  But the
playwrights appealed from the critics to the truer sympathies of the
audience, and they decided for freedom and action, rather than
restraint and recitation.  Hence our national drama is of Shakspere,
and not of Racine.  By 1603 there were twelve play-houses in London in
full blast, although the city then numbered only one hundred and fifty
thousand inhabitants.

Fresh plays were produced every year.  The theater was more to the
Englishman of that time than it has ever been before or since.  It was
his club, his novel, his newspaper all in one.  No great drama has ever
flourished apart from a living stage, and it was fortunate that the
Elisabethan dramatists were, almost all of them, actors and familiar
with stage effect.  Even the few exceptions, like Beaumont and
Fletcher, who were young men of good birth and fortune, and not
dependent on their pens, were probably intimate with the actors, lived
in a theatrical atmosphere, and knew practically how plays should be
put on.

It had now become possible to earn a livelihood as an actor and
playwright.  Richard Burbage and Edward Alleyn, the leading actors of
their generation, made large fortunes.  Shakspere himself made enough
from his share in the profits of the _Globe_ to retire with a
competence, some seven years before his death, and purchase a handsome
{103} property in his native Stratford.  Accordingly, shortly after
1580, a number of men of real talent began to write for the stage as a
career.  These were young graduates of the universities, Marlowe,
Greene, Peele, Kyd, Lyly, Lodge, and others, who came up to town and
led a Bohemian life as actors and playwrights.  Most of them were wild
and dissipated, and ended in wretchedness.  Peele died of a disease
brought on by his evil courses; Greene, in extreme destitution, from a
surfeit of Rhenish wine and pickled herring; and Marlowe was stabbed in
a tavern brawl.

The Euphuist Lyly produced eight plays from 1584 to 1601.  They were
written for court entertainments, in prose and mostly on mythological
subjects.  They have little dramatic power, but the dialogue is brisk
and vivacious, and there are several pretty songs in them.  All the
characters talk Euphuism.  The best of these was _Alexander and
Campaspe_, the plot of which is briefly as follows.  Alexander has
fallen in love with his beautiful captive, Campaspe, and employs the
artist Apelles to paint her portrait.  During the sittings, Apelles
becomes enamored of his subject and declares his passion, which is
returned.  Alexander discovers their secret, but magnanimously forgives
the treason and joins the lovers' hands.  The situation is a good one,
and capable of strong treatment in the hands of a real dramatist.  But
Lyly slips smoothly over the crisis of the action and, in place of
passionate scenes, gives {104} us clever discourses and soliloquies,
or, at best, a light interchange of question and answer, full of
conceits, repartees, and double meanings.  For example:

  "_Apel_.  Whom do you love best in the world?

  "_Camp_.  He that made me last in the world.

  "_Apel_.  That was a God.

  "_Camp_.  I had thought it had been a man," etc.

Lyly's service to the drama consisted in his introduction of an easy
and sparkling prose as the language of high comedy, and Shakspere's
indebtedness to the fashion thus set is seen in such passages as the
wit combats between Benedict and Beatrice in _Much Ado about Nothing_,
greatly superior as they are to any thing of the kind in Lyly.

The most important of the dramatists, who were Shakspere's forerunners,
or early contemporaries, was Christopher or--as he was familiarly
called--Kit Marlowe.  Born in the same year with Shakspere (1564), he
died in 1593, at which date his great successor is thought to have
written no original plays, except the _Comedy of Errors_ and _Love's
Labour's Lost_.  Marlowe first popularized blank verse as the language
of tragedy in his _Tamburlaine_, written before 1587, and in subsequent
plays he brought it to a degree of strength and flexibility which left
little for Shakspere to do but to take it as he found it.
_Tamburlaine_ was a crude, violent piece, full of exaggeration and
bombast, but with passages here and there of splendid {105}
declamation, justifying Ben Jonson's phrase, "Marlowe's mighty line."
Jonson, however, ridiculed, in his _Discoveries_, the "scenical
strutting and furious vociferation" of Marlowe's hero; and Shakspere
put a quotation from Tamburlaine into the mouth of his ranting Pistol.
Marlowe's _Edward II._ was the most regularly constructed and evenly
written of his plays.  It was the best historical drama on the stage
before Shakspere, and not undeserving of the comparison which it has
provoked with the latter's _Richard II_.  But the most interesting of
Marlowe's plays, to a modern reader, is the _Tragical History of Doctor
Faustus_.  The subject is the same as in Goethe's _Faust_, and Goethe,
who knew the English play, spoke of it as greatly planned.  The opening
of Marlowe's _Faustus_ is very similar to Goethe's.  His hero, wearied
with unprofitable studies, and filled with a mighty lust for knowledge
and the enjoyment of life, sells his soul to the Devil in return for a
few years of supernatural power.  The tragic irony of the story might
seem to lie in the frivolous use which Faustus makes of his dearly
bought power, wasting it in practical jokes and feats of legerdemain;
but of this Marlowe was probably unconscious.  The love story of
Margaret, which is the central point of Goethe's drama, is entirely
wanting in Marlowe's, and so is the subtle conception of Goethe's
Mephistophiles.  Marlowe's handling of the supernatural is
materialistic and downright, as befitted an age which believed in
witchcraft.  The {106} greatest part of the English _Faustus_ is the
last scene, in which the agony and terror of suspense with which the
magician awaits the stroke of the clock that signals his doom are
powerfully drawn.

  "_O lente, lente currile, noctis equi!_
  The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike.
  O soul, be changed into little water-drops,
  And fall into the ocean, ne'er be found!"

Marlowe's genius was passionate and irregular.  He had no humor, and
the comic portions of _Faustus_ are scenes of low buffoonery.

George Peele's masterpiece, _David and Bethsabe_, was also, in many
respects, a fine play, though its beauties were poetic rather than
dramatic, consisting not in the characterization--which is feeble--but
in the eastern luxuriance of the imagery.  There is one noble chorus--

  "O proud revolt of a presumptuous man," etc.

which reminds one of passages in Milton's _Samson Agonistes_, and
occasionally Peele rises to such high Aeschylean audacities as this:

  "At him the thunder shall discharge his bolt,
  And his fair spouse, with bright and fiery wings,
  Sit ever burning on his hateful bones."

Robert Greene was a very unequal writer.  His plays are slovenly and
careless in construction, and he puts classical allusions into the
mouths of milkmaids and serving boys, with the grotesque pedantry and
want of keeping common among the {107} playwrights of the early stage.
He has, notwithstanding, in his comedy parts, more natural lightness
and grace than either Marlowe or Peele.  In his _Friar Bacon and Friar
Bungay_, and his _Pinner of Wakefield_, there is a fresh breath, as of
the green English country, in such passages as the description of
Oxford, the scene at Harleston Fair, and the picture of the dairy in
the keeper's lodge at merry Fressingfield.

In all these ante-Shaksperian dramatists there was a defect of art
proper to the first comers in a new literary departure.  As compared
not only with Shakspere, but with later writers, who had the
inestimable advantage of his example, their work was full of
imperfection, hesitation, experiment.  Marlowe was probably, in native
genius, the equal at least of Fletcher or Webster, but his plays, as a
whole, are certainly not equal to theirs.  They wrote in a more
developed state of the art.  But the work of this early school settled
the shape which the English drama was to take.  It fixed the practice
and traditions of the national theater.  It decided that the drama was
to deal with the whole of life, the real and the ideal, tragedy and
comedy, prose and verse, in the same play, without limitations of time,
place, and action.  It decided that the English play was to be an
action, and not a dialogue, bringing boldly upon the mimic scene
feasts, dances, processions, hangings, riots, plays within plays,
drunken revels, beatings, battle, murder, and sudden death.  It
established blank verse, {108} with occasional riming couplets at the
close of a scene or of a long speech, as the language of the tragedy
and high comedy parts, and prose as the language of the low comedy and
"business" parts.  And it introduced songs, a feature of which
Shakspere made exquisite use.  Shakspere, indeed, like all great poets,
invented no new form of literature, but touched old forms to finer
purposes, refining every thing, discarding nothing.  Even the old
chorus and dumb show he employed, though sparingly, as also the old
jig, or comic song, which the clown used to give between the acts.

Of the life of William Shakspere, the greatest dramatic poet of the
world, so little is known that it has been possible for ingenious
persons to construct a theory--and support it with some show of
reason--that the plays which pass under his name were really written by
Bacon or some one else.  There is no danger of this paradox ever making
serious headway, for the historical evidence that Shakspere wrote
Shakspere's plays, though not overwhelming, is sufficient.  But it is
startling to think that the greatest creative genius of his day, or
perhaps of all time, was suffered to slip out of life so quietly that
his title to his own works could even be questioned only two hundred
and fifty years after the event.  That the single authorship of the
Homeric poems should be doubted is not so strange, for Homer is almost
prehistoric.  But Shakspere was a modern Englishman, and at the time of
his death the first English colony in {109} America was already nine
years old.  The important known facts of his life can be told almost in
a sentence.  He was born at Stratford-on-Avon in 1564, married when he
was eighteen, went to London probably in 1587, and became an actor,
playwriter, and stockholder in the company which owned the Blackfriars
and the Globe Theaters.  He seemingly prospered in his calling and
retired about 1609 to Stratford, where he lived in the house that he
had bought some years before, and where he died in 1616.  His _Venus
and Adonis_ was printed in 1593, the _Rape of Lucrece_ in 1594, and his
_Sonnets_ in 1609.  So far as is known, only eighteen of the
thirty-seven plays generally attributed to Shakspere were printed
during his life-time.  These were printed singly, in quarto shape, and
were little more than stage books, or librettos.  The first collected
edition of his works was the so-called "First Folio" of 1623, published
by his fellow-actors, Heming and Condell.  No contemporary of Shakspere
thought it worth while to write a life of the stage-player.  There are
a number of references to him in the literature of the time; some
generous, as in Ben Jonson's well-known verses; others singularly
unappreciative, like Webster's mention of "the right happy and copious
industry of Master Shakspere."  But all these together do not begin to
amount to the sum of what was said about Spenser, or Sidney, or
Raleigh, or Ben Jonson.  There is, indeed, nothing to show that his
contemporaries understood what a man they had {110} among them in the
person of "Our English Terence, Mr. Will Shakespeare!"  The age, for
the rest, was not a self-conscious one, nor greatly given to review
writing and literary biography.  Nor is there enough of self-revelation
in Shakspere's plays to aid the reader in forming a notion of the man.
He lost his identity completely in the characters of his plays, as it
is the duty of a dramatic writer to do.  His sonnets have been examined
carefully in search of internal evidence as to his character and life,
but the speculations founded upon them have been more ingenious than

Shakspere probably began by touching up old plays.  _Henry VI._ and the
bloody tragedy of _Titus Andronicus_, if Shakspere's at all, are
doubtless only his revision of pieces already on the stage.  The
_Taming of the Shrew_ seems to be an old play worked over by Shakspere
and some other dramatist, and traces of another hand are thought to be
visible in parts of _Henry VIII._, _Pericles_, and _Timon of Athens_.
Such partnerships were common among the Elisabethan dramatists, the
most illustrious example being the long association of Beaumont and
Fletcher.  The plays in the First Folio were divided into histories,
comedies, and tragedies, and it will be convenient to notice them
briefly in that order.

It was a stirring time when the young adventurer came to London to try
his fortune.  Elisabeth had finally thrown down the gage of battle to
Catholic Europe, by the execution of Mary Stuart, in 1587.  {111} The
following year saw the destruction of the colossal Armada, which Spain
had sent to revenge Mary's death, and hard upon these events followed
the gallant exploits of Grenville, Essex, and Raleigh.

That Shakspere shared the exultant patriotism of the times, and the
sense of their aloofness from the continent of Europe, which was now
born in the breasts of Englishmen, is evident from many a passage in
his plays.

  "This happy breed of men, this little world,
  This precious stone set in a silver sea,
  This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
  This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
  England, bound in with the triumphant sea!"

His English histories are ten in number.  Of these _King John_ and
_Henry VIII._ are isolated plays.  The others form a consecutive
series, in the following order: _Richard III._, the two parts of _Henry
IV._, _Henry V._, the three parts of _Henry VI._, and _Richard III_.
This series may be divided into two, each forming a tetralogy, or group
of four plays.  In the first the subject is the rise of the house of
Lancaster.  But the power of the Red Rose was founded in usurpation.
In the second group, accordingly, comes the Nemesis, in the civil wars
of the Roses, reaching their catastrophe in the downfall of both
Lancaster and York, and the tyranny of Gloucester.  The happy
conclusion is finally reached in the last play of the series, when this
new usurper is overthrown in turn, and Henry {112} VII., the first
Tudor sovereign, ascends the throne, and restores the Lancastrian
inheritance, purified, by bloody atonement, from the stain of Richard
II.'s murder.  These eight plays are, as it were, the eight acts of one
great drama; and if such a thing were possible, they should be
represented on successive nights, like the parts of a Greek trilogy.
In order of composition, the second group came first.  _Henry VI._ is
strikingly inferior to the others.  _Richard III._ is a good acting
play, and its popularity has been sustained by a series of great
tragedians, who have taken the part of the king.  But, in a literary
sense, it is unequal to _Richard II._, or the two parts of _Henry IV_.
The latter is unquestionably Shakspere's greatest historical tragedy,
and it contains his master-creation in the region of low comedy, the
immortal Falstaff.

The constructive art with which Shakspere shaped history into drama is
well seen in comparing his King John with the two plays on that
subject, which were already on the stage.  These, like all the other
old "Chronicle histories," such as _Thomas Lord Cromwell_ and the
_Famous Victories of Henry V._, follow a merely chronological, or
biographical, order, giving events loosely, as they occurred, without
any unity of effect, or any reference to their bearing on the
catastrophe.  Shakspere's order was logical.  He compressed and
selected, disregarding the fact of history oftentimes, in favor of the
higher truth of fiction; bringing together a crime and its punishment,
as cause and effect, even {113} though they had no such relation in the
chronicle, and were separated, perhaps, by many years.

Shakspere's first two comedies were experiments.  _Love's Labour's
Lost_ was a play of manners, with hardly any plot.  It brought together
a number of humors, that is, oddities and affectations of various
sorts, and played them off on one another, as Ben Jonson afterward did
in his comedies of humor.  Shakspere never returned to this type of
play, unless, perhaps, in the _Taming of the Shrew_.  There the story
turned on a single "humor," Katherine's bad temper, just as the story
in Jonson's _Silent Woman_ turned on Morose's hatred of noise.  The
_Taming of the Shrew_ is, therefore, one of the least Shaksperian of
Shakspere's plays; a _bourgeois_, domestic comedy, with a very narrow
interest.  It belongs to the school of French comedy, like Moliere's
_Malade Imaginaire_, not to the romantic comedy of Shakspere and

The _Comedy of Errors_ was an experiment of an exactly opposite kind.
It was a play, purely of incident; a farce, in which the main
improbability being granted, namely, that the twin Antipholi and twin
Dromios are so alike that they cannot be distinguished, all the amusing
complications follow naturally enough.  There is little
character-drawing in the play.  Any two pairs of twins, in the same
predicament, would be equally droll.  The fun lies in the situation.
This was a comedy of the Latin school, and resembled the _Menaechmi_ of
Plautus.  Shakspere never returned to this type of {114} play, though
there is an element of "errors" in _Midsummer Night's Dream_.  In the
_Two Gentlemen of Verona_ he finally hit upon that species of romantic
comedy which he may be said to have invented or created out of the
scattered materials at hand in the works of his predecessors.  In this
play, as in the _Merchant of Venice_, _Midsummer Night's Dream_, _Much
Ado about Nothing_, _As You Like It_, _Twelfth Night_, _Winters Tale_,
_All's Well that Ends Well_, _Measure for Measure_, and the _Tempest_,
the plan of construction is as follows.  There is one main intrigue
carried out by the high comedy characters, and a secondary intrigue, or
underplot, by the low comedy characters.  The former is by no means
purely comic, but admits the presentation of the noblest motives, the
strongest passions, and the most delicate graces of romantic poetry.
In some of the plays it has a prevailing lightness and gayety, as in
_As You Like It_ and _Twelfth Night_.  In others, like _Measure for
Measure_, it is barely saved from becoming tragedy by the happy close.
Shylock certainly remains a tragic figure, even to the end, and a play
like _Winter's Tale_, in which the painful situation is prolonged for
years, is only technically a comedy.  Such dramas, indeed, were called,
on many of the title-pages of the time, "tragi-comedies."  The low
comedy interlude, on the other hand, was broadly comic.  It was
cunningly interwoven with the texture of the play, sometimes loosely,
and by way of variety or relief, as in the episode of {115} Touchstone
and Audrey, in _As You Like It_; sometimes closely, as in the case of
Dogberry and Verges, in _Much Ado about Nothing_, where the blundering
of the watch is made to bring about the _denouement_ of the main
action.  The _Merry Wives of Windsor_ is an exception to this plan of
construction.  It is Shakspere's only play of contemporary,
middle-class English life, and is written almost throughout in prose.
It is his only pure comedy, except the _Taming of the Shrew_.

Shakspere did not abandon comedy when writing tragedy, though he turned
it to a new account.  The two species graded into one another.  Thus
_Cymbeline_ is, in its fortunate ending, really as much of a comedy as
_Winter's Tale_--to which its plot bears a resemblance--and is only
technically a tragedy, because it contains a violent death.  In some of
the tragedies, as _Macbeth_ and _Julius Caesar_, the comedy element is
reduced to a minimum.  But in others, as _Romeo and Juliet_, and
_Hamlet_, it heightens the tragic feeling by the irony of contrast.
Akin to this is the use to which Shakspere put the old Vice, or Clown,
of the moralities.  The Fool in _Lear_, Touchstone in _As You Like It_,
and Thersites in _Troilus and Cressida_, are a sort of parody of the
function of the Greek chorus, commenting the action of the drama with
scraps of bitter, or half-crazy, philosophy, and wonderful gleams of
insight into the depths of man's nature.

The earliest of Shakspere's tragedies, unless _Titus Andronicus_ be
his, was, doubtless, _Romeo and {116} Juliet_, which is full of the
passion and poetry of youth and of first love.  It contains a large
proportion of riming lines, which is usually a sign in Shakspere of
early work.  He dropped rime more and more in his later plays, and his
blank verse grew freer and more varied in its pauses and the number of
its feet.  _Romeo and Juliet_ is also unique, among his tragedies, in
this respect, that the catastrophe is brought about by a fatality, as
in the Greek drama.  It was Shakspere's habit to work out his tragic
conclusions from within, through character, rather than through
external chances.  This is true of all the great tragedies of his
middle life, _Hamlet_, _Othello_, _Lear_, _Macbeth_, in every one of
which the catastrophe is involved in the character and actions of the
hero.  This is so, in a special sense, in _Hamlet_, the subtlest of all
Shakspere's plays, and if not his masterpiece, at any rate the one
which has most attracted and puzzled the greatest minds.  It is
observable that in Shakspere's comedies there is no one central figure,
but that, in passing into tragedy, he intensified and concentrated the
attention upon a single character.  This difference is seen, even in
the naming of the plays; the tragedies always take their titles from
their heroes, the comedies never.

Somewhat later, probably, than the tragedies already mentioned, were
the three Roman plays, _Julius Caesar_, _Coriolanus_, and _Antony and
Cleopatra_.  It is characteristic of Shakspere that he invented the
plot of none of his plays, but took {117} material that he found at
hand.  In these Roman tragedies, he followed Plutarch closely, and yet,
even in so doing, gave, if possible, a greater evidence of real
creative power than when he borrowed a mere outline of a story from
some Italian novelist.  It is most instructive to compare _Julius
Caesar_ with Ben Jonson's _Catiline and Sejanus_.  Jonson was careful
not to go beyond his text.  In _Catiline_ he translates almost
literally the whole of Cicero's first oration against Catiline.
Sejanus is a mosaic of passages, from Tacitus and Suetonius.  There is
none of this dead learning in Shakspere's play.  Having grasped the
conception of the characters of Brutus, Cassius, and Mark Anthony, as
Plutarch gave them, he pushed them out into their consequences in every
word and act, so independently of his original, and yet so harmoniously
with it, that the reader knows that he is reading history, and needs no
further warrant for it than Shakspere's own.  _Timon of Athens_ is the
least agreeable and most monotonous of Shakspere's undoubted tragedies,
and _Troilus and Cressida_, said Coleridge, is the hardest to
characterize.  The figures of the old Homeric world fare but hardly
under the glaring light of modern standards of morality which Shakspere
turns upon them.  Ajax becomes a stupid bully, Ulysses a crafty
politician, and swift-footed Achilles a vain and sulky chief of
faction.  In losing their ideal remoteness, the heroes of the _Iliad_
lose their poetic quality, and the lover of Homer experiences an
unpleasant disenchantment.


It was customary in the 18th century to speak of Shakspere as a rude
though prodigious genius.  Even Milton could describe him as "warbling
his native wood-notes wild."  But a truer criticism, beginning in
England with Coleridge, has shown that he was also a profound artist.
It is true that he wrote for his audiences, and that his art is not
every-where and at all points perfect.  But a great artist will
contrive, as Shakspere did, to reconcile practical exigencies, like
those of the public stage, with the finer requirements of his art.
Strained interpretations have been put upon this or that item in
Shakspere's plays; and yet it is generally true that some deeper reason
can be assigned for his method in a given case than that "the audience
liked puns," or, "the audience liked ghosts."  Compare, for example,
his delicate management of the supernatural with Marlowe's procedure in
_Faustus_.  Shakspere's age believed in witches, elves, and
apparitions; and yet there is always something shadowy or allegorical
in his use of such machinery.  The ghost in _Hamlet_ is merely an
embodied suspicion.  Banquo's wraith, which is invisible to all but
Macbeth, is the haunting of an evil conscience.  The witches in the
same play are but the promptings of ambition, thrown into a human
shape, so as to become actors in the drama.  In the same way, the
fairies in _Midsummer Night's Dream_ are the personified caprices of
the lovers, and they are unseen by the human characters, whose likes
and dislikes they control, save in the instance where {119} Bottom is
"translated" (that is, becomes mad) and has sight of the invisible
world.  So in the _Tempest_, Ariel is the spirit of the air and Caliban
of the earth, ministering, with more or less of unwillingness, to man's

Shakspere is the most universal of writers.  He touches more men at
more points than Homer, or Dante, or Goethe.  The deepest wisdom, the
sweetest poetry, the widest range of character, are combined in his
plays.  He made the English language an organ of expression unexcelled
in the history of literature.  Yet he is not an English poet simply,
but a world-poet.  Germany has made him her own, and the Latin races,
though at first hindered in a true appreciation of him by the canons of
classical taste, have at length learned to know him.  An ever-growing
mass of Shaksperian literature, in the way of comment and
interpretation, critical, textual, historical, or illustrative,
testifies to the durability and growth of his fame.  Above all, his
plays still keep, and probably always will keep, the stage.  It is
common to speak of Shakspere and the other Elisabethan dramatists as if
they stood, in some sense, on a level.  But in truth there is an almost
measureless distance between him and all his contemporaries.  The rest
shared with him in the mighty influences of the age.  Their plays are
touched here and there with the power and splendor of which they were
all joint heirs.  But, as a whole, they are obsolete.  They live in
books, but not in the hearts and on the tongues of men.  The {120} most
remarkable of the dramatists contemporary with Shakspere was Ben
Jonson, whose robust figure is in striking contrast with the other's
gracious impersonality.  Jonson was nine years younger than Shakspere.
He was educated at Westminster School, served as a soldier in the low
countries, became an actor in Henslowe's company, and was twice
imprisoned--once for killing a fellow-actor in a duel, and once for his
part in the comedy of _Eastward Hoe_, which gave offense to King James.
He lived down to the times of Charles I. (1635), and became the
acknowledged arbiter of English letters and the center of convivial wit
combats at the _Mermaid_, the _Devil_, and other famous London taverns.

          "What things have we seen
  Done at the Mermaid; heard words that have been
  So nimble and so full of subtle flame,
  As if that every one from whom they came
  Had meant to put his whole wit in a jest,
  And had resolved to live a fool the rest
  Of his dull life." [1]

The inscription on his tomb, in Westminster Abbey, is simply

  "O rare Ben Jonson!"

Jonson's comedies were modeled upon the _vetus comaedia_ of
Aristophanes, which was satirical in purpose, and they belonged to an
entirely different school from Shakspere's.  They were classical and
not romantic, and were pure comedies, admitting {121} no admixture of
tragic motives.  There is hardly one lovely or beautiful character in
the entire range of his dramatic creations.  They were comedies not of
character, in the high sense of the word, but of manners or humors.
His design was to lash the follies and vices of the day, and his
_dramatis persona_ consisted for the most part of gulls, impostors,
fops, cowards, swaggering braggarts, and "Pauls men."  In his first
play, _Every Man in his Humor_ (acted in 1598), in _Every Man Out of
his Humor_, _Bartholomew Fair_, and indeed, in all of his comedies, his
subject was the "spongy humors of the time," that is, the fashionable
affectations, the whims, oddities, and eccentric developments of London
life.  His procedure was to bring together a number of these fantastic
humorists, to play them off upon each other, involve them in all manner
of comical misadventures, and render them utterly ridiculous and
contemptible.  There was thus a perishable element in his art, for
manners change; and however effective this exposure of contemporary
affectations may have been, before an audience of Jonson's day, it is
as hard for a modern reader to detect his points as it will be for a
reader two hundred years hence to understand the satire upon the
aesthetic craze in such pieces of the present day, as _Patience_ or the
_Colonel_.  Nevertheless, a patient reader, with the help of copious
foot-notes, can gradually put together for himself an image of that
world of obsolete humors in which Jonson's comedy dwells, and can
admire the dramatist's solid good {122} sense, his great learning, his
skill in construction, and the astonishing fertility of his invention.
His characters are not revealed from within, like Shakspere's, but
built up painfully from outside by a succession of minute, laborious
particulars.  The difference will be plainly manifest if such a
character as Slender, in the _Merry Wives of Windsor_, be compared with
any one of the inexhaustible variety of idiots in Jonson's plays; with
Master Stephen, for example, in _Every Man in his Humor_; or, if
Falstaff be put side by side with Captain Bobadil, in the same comedy,
perhaps Jonson's masterpiece in the way of comic caricature.
_Cynthia's Revels_ was a satire on the courtiers and the _Poetaster_ on
Jonson's literary enemies.  The _Alchemist_ was an exposure of
quackery, and is one of his best comedies, but somewhat overweighted
with learning.  _Volpone_ is the most powerful of all his dramas, but
is a harsh and disagreeable piece; and the state of society which it
depicts is too revolting for comedy.  The _Silent Woman_ is, perhaps,
the easiest of all Jonson's plays for a modern reader to follow and
appreciate.  There is a distinct plot to it, the situation is extremely
ludicrous, and the emphasis is laid upon single humor or eccentricity,
as in some of Moliere's lighter comedies, like _Le Malade Imaginaire_,
or _Le Medecin malgre lui_.

In spite of his heaviness in drama, Jonson had a light enough touch in
lyric poetry.  His songs have not the careless sweetness of
Shakspere's, but they have a grace of their own.  Such pieces as his
{123} _Love's Triumph_, _Hymn to Diana_, _The Noble Mind_, and the
adaptation from _Philostratus_,

  "Drink to me only with thine eyes,"

and many others entitle their author to rank among the first English
lyrists.  Some of these occur in his two collections of miscellaneous
verse, the _Forest_ and _Underwoods_; others in the numerous masques
which he composed.  These were a species of entertainment, very popular
at the court of James I., combining dialogue with music, intricate
dances, and costly scenery.  Jonson left an unfinished pastoral drama,
the _Sad Shepherd_, which, though not equal to Fletcher's _Faithful
Shepherdess_, contains passages of great beauty, one, especially,
descriptive of the shepherdess

  Who had her very being and her name
  With the first buds and breathings of the spring,
  Born with the primrose and the violet
  And earliest roses blown."

1. Ward's History of English Dramatic Literature.

2. Palgrave's Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics.

3. The Courtly Poets from Raleigh to Montrose.  Edited by J. Hannah.

4. Sir Philip Sidney's Arcadia.  (First and Second Books.)

5. Bacon's Essays.  Edited by W. Aldis Wright


6. The Cambridge Shakspere.  [Clark & Wright.]

7. Charles Lamb's Specimens of English Dramatic Poets.

8. Ben Jonson's Volpone and Silent Woman.  (Cunningham's or Gifford's

[1] Francis Beaumont.  _Letter to Ben Jonson_.





The Elisabethan age proper closed with the death of the queen, and the
accession of James I., in 1603, but the literature of the fifty years
following was quite as rich as that of the half-century that had passed
since she came to the throne, in 1557.  The same qualities of thought
and style which had marked the writers of her reign, prolonged
themselves in their successors, through the reigns of the first two
Stuart kings and the Commonwealth.  Yet there was a change in _spirit_.
Literature is only one of the many forms in which the national mind
expresses itself.  In periods of political revolution, literature,
leaving the serene air of fine art, partakes the violent agitation of
the times.  There were seeds of civil and religious discord in
Elisabethan England.  As between the two parties in the Church there
was a compromise and a truce rather than a final settlement.  The
Anglican doctrine was partly Calvinistic and partly Arminian.  The form
of government was Episcopal, but there was a large body of
Presbyterians in the Church who desired a change.  In {126} the ritual
and ceremonies many "rags of popery" had been retained, which the
extreme reformers wished to tear away.  But Elisabeth was a
worldly-minded woman, impatient of theological disputes.  Though
circumstances had made her the champion of Protestantism in Europe, she
kept many Catholic notions, disapproved, for example, of the marriage
of priests, and hated sermons.  She was jealous of her prerogative in
the State, and in the Church she enforced uniformity.  The authors of
the _Martin Marprelate_ pamphlets against the bishops, were punished by
death or imprisonment.  While the queen lived things were kept well
together and England was at one in face of the common foe.  Admiral
Howard, who commanded the English naval forces against the Armada, was
a Catholic.

But during the reigns of James I. (1603-1625) and Charles I.
(1625-1649) Puritanism grew stronger through repression.  "England,"
says the historian Green, "became the people of a book, and that book
the Bible."  The power of the king was used to impose the power of the
bishops upon the English and Scotch Churches until religious discontent
became also political discontent, and finally overthrew the throne.
The writers of this period divided more and more into two hostile
camps.  On the side of Church and king was the bulk of the learning and
genius of the time.  But on the side of free religion and the
Parliament were the stern conviction, the fiery zeal, the excited
imagination of English Puritanism.  The {127} spokesman of this
movement was Milton, whose great figure dominates the literary history
of his generation, as Shakspere's does of the generation preceding.

The drama went on in the course marked out for it by Shakspere's
example, until the theaters were closed, by Parliament, in 1642.  Of
the Stuart dramatists, the most important were Beaumont and Fletcher,
all of whose plays were produced during the reign of James I.  These
were fifty-three in number, but only thirteen of them were joint
productions.  Francis Beaumont was twenty years younger than Shakspere,
and died a few years before him.  He was the son of a judge of the
Common Pleas.  His collaborator, John Fletcher, a son of the bishop of
London, was five years older than Beaumont, and survived him nine
years.  He was much the more prolific of the two and wrote alone some
forty plays.  Although the life of one of these partners was
conterminous with Shakspere's, their works exhibit a later phase of the
dramatic art.  The Stuart dramatists followed the lead of Shakspere
rather than of Ben Jonson.  Their plays, like the former's, belong to
the romantic drama.  They present a poetic and idealized version of
life, deal with the highest passions and the wildest buffoonery, and
introduce a great variety of those daring situations and incidents
which we agree to call romantic.  But while Shakspere seldom or never
overstepped the modesty of nature, his successors ran into every
license.  They {128} sought to stimulate the jaded appetite of their
audience by exhibiting monstrosities of character, unnatural lusts,
subtleties of crime, virtues and vices both in excess.

Beaumont and Fletcher's plays are much easier and more agreeable
reading than Ben Jonson's.  Though often loose in their plots and
without that consistency in the development of their characters which
distinguished Jonson's more conscientious workmanship, they are full of
graceful dialogue and beautiful poetry.  Dryden said that after the
Restoration two of their plays were acted for one of Shakspere's or
Jonson's throughout the year, and he added, that they "understood and
imitated the conversation of _gentlemen_ much better, whose wild
debaucheries and quickness of wit in repartees no poet can ever paint
as they have done."  Wild debauchery was certainly not the mark of a
gentleman in Shakspere, nor was it altogether so in Beaumont and
Fletcher.  Their gentlemen are gallant and passionate lovers, gay
cavaliers, generous, courageous, courteous--according to the fashion of
their times--and sensitive on the point of honor.  They are far
superior to the cold-blooded rakes of Dryden and the Restoration
comedy.  Still the manners and language in Beaumont and Fletcher's
plays are extremely licentious, and it is not hard to sympathize with
the objections to the theater expressed by the Puritan writer, William
Prynne, who, after denouncing the long hair of the cavaliers in his
tract, _The {129} Unloveliness of Lovelocks_, attacked the stage, in
1633, with _Histrio-mastix: the Player's Scourge_; an offense for which
he was fined, imprisoned, pilloried, and had his ears cropped.
Coleridge said that Shakspere was coarse, but never gross.  He had the
healthy coarseness of nature herself.  But Beaumont and Fletcher's
pages are corrupt.  Even their chaste women are immodest in language
and thought.  They use not merely that frankness of speech which was a
fashion of the times, but a profusion of obscene imagery which could
not proceed from a pure mind.  Chastity with them is rather a bodily
accident than a virtue of the heart, says Coleridge.

Among the best of their light comedies are _The Chances_, _The Scornful
Lady_, _The Spanish Curate_, and _Rule a Wife and Have a Wife_.  But
far superior to these are their tragedies and tragi-comedies, _The
Maia's Tragedy_, _Philaster_, _A King and No King_--all written
jointly--and _Valentinian_ and _Thierry and Theodoret_, written by
Fletcher alone, but perhaps, in part, sketched out by Beaumont.  The
tragic masterpiece of Beaumont and Fletcher is _The Maid's Tragedy_, a
powerful but repulsive play, which sheds a singular light not only upon
its authors' dramatic methods, but also upon the attitude toward
royalty favored by the doctrine of the divine right of kings, which
grew up under the Stuarts.  The heroine, Evadne, has been in secret a
mistress of the king, who marries her to Amintor, a gentleman of his
court, {130} because, as she explains to her bridegroom, on the wedding

          "I must have one
  To father children, and to bear the name
  Of husband to me, that my sin may be
  More honorable."

This scene is, perhaps, the most affecting and impressive in the whole
range of Beaumont and Fletcher's drama.  Yet when Evadne names the king
as her paramour, Amintor exclaims:

  "O thou hast named a word that wipes away
  All thoughts revengeful.  In that sacred name
  'The king' there lies a terror.  What frail man
  Dares lift his hand against it?  Let the gods
  Speak to him when they please; till when, let us
  Suffer and wait."

And the play ends with the words

          "On lustful kings,
  Unlooked-for sudden deaths from heaven are sent,
  But cursed is he that is their instrument."

Aspatia, in this tragedy, is a good instance of Beaumont and Fletcher's
pathetic characters.  She is troth-plight wife to Amintor, and after
he, by the king's command, has forsaken her for Evadne, she disguises
herself as a man, provokes her unfaithful lover to a duel, and dies
under his sword, blessing the hand that killed her.  This is a common
type in Beaumont and Fletcher, and was drawn originally from
Shakspere's _Ophelia_.  All their good women have the instinctive
fidelity of a dog, and a superhuman patience and devotion, {131} a
"gentle forlornness" under wrongs, which is painted with an almost
feminine tenderness.  In _Philaster, or Love Lies Bleeding_, Euphrasia,
conceiving a hopeless passion for Philaster--who is in love with
Arethusa--puts on the dress of a page and enters his service.  He
employs her to carry messages to his lady-love, just as Viola, in
_Twelfth Night_, is sent by the Duke to Olivia.  Philaster is persuaded
by slanderers that his page and his lady have been unfaithful to him,
and in his jealous fury he wounds Euphrasia with his sword.  Afterward,
convinced of the boy's fidelity, he asks forgiveness, whereto Euphrasia

  "Alas, my lord, my life is not a thing
  Worthy your noble thoughts.  'Tis not a life,
  'Tis but a piece of childhood thrown away."

Beaumont and Fletcher's love-lorn maids wear the willow very sweetly,
but in all their piteous passages there is nothing equal to the natural
pathos--the pathos which arises from the deep springs of character--of
that one brief question and answer in _King Lear_.

  "_Lear_.  So young and so untender?

  "_Cordelia_.             So young, my lord, and true."

The disguise of a woman in man's apparel is a common incident in the
romantic drama; and the fact, that on the Elisabethan stage the female
parts were taken by boys, made the deception easier.  Viola's situation
in _Twelfth Night_ is precisely similar to Euphrasia's, but there is a
{132} difference in the handling of the device which is characteristic
of a distinction between Shakspere's art and that of his
contemporaries.  The audience in _Twelfth Night_ is taken into
confidence and made aware of Viola's real nature from the start, while
Euphrasia's _incognito_ is preserved till the fifth act, and then
disclosed by an accident.  This kind of mystification and surprise was
a trick below Shakspere.  In this instance, moreover, it involved a
departure from dramatic probability.  Euphrasia could, at any moment,
by revealing her identity, have averted the greatest sufferings and
dangers from Philaster, Arethusa, and herself, and the only motive for
her keeping silence is represented to have been a feeling of maidenly
shame at her position.  Such strained and fantastic motives are too
often made the pivot of the action in Beaumont and Fletcher's
tragi-comedies.  Their characters have not the depth and truth of
Shakspere's, nor are they drawn so sharply.  One reads their plays with
pleasure and remembers here and there a passage of fine poetry, or a
noble or lovely trait.  But their characters, as wholes, leave a fading
impression.  Who, even after a single reading or representation, ever
forgets Falstaff, or Shylock, or King Lear?

The moral inferiority of Beaumont and Fletcher is well seen in such a
play as _A King and No King_.  Here Arbaces falls in love with his
sister, and, after a furious conflict in his own mind, finally succumbs
to his guilty passion.  He is rescued from {133} the consequences of
his weakness by the discovery that Panthea is not, in fact, his sister.
But this is to cut the knot and not to untie it.  It leaves the
_denouement_ to chance, and not to those moral forces through which
Shakspere always wrought his conclusions.  Arbaces has failed, and the
piece of luck which keeps his failure innocent is rejected by every
right-feeling spectator.  In one of John Ford's tragedies, the
situation which in _A King and No King_ is only apparent, becomes real,
and incest is boldly made the subject of the play.  Ford pushed the
morbid and unnatural in character and passion into even wilder extremes
than Beaumont and Fletcher.  His best play, the _Broken Heart_, is a
prolonged and unrelieved torture of the feelings.

Fletcher's _Faithful Shepherdess_ is the best English pastoral drama.
Its choral songs are richly and sweetly modulated, and the influence of
the whole poem upon Milton is very apparent in his _Comus_.  _The
Knight of the Burning Pestle_, written by Beaumont and Fletcher
jointly, was the first burlesque comedy in the language, and is
excellent fooling.  Beaumont and Fletcher's blank verse is musical, but
less masculine than Marlowe's or Shakspere's, by reason of their
excessive use of extra syllables and feminine endings.

In John Webster the fondness for the abnormal and sensational themes,
which beset the Stuart stage, showed itself in the exaggeration of the
terrible into the horrible.  Fear, in Shakspere--as in {134} the great
murder scene in _Macbeth_--is a pure passion; but in Webster it is
mingled with something physically repulsive.  Thus his _Duchess of
Malfi_ is presented in the dark with a dead man's hand, and is told
that it is the hand of her murdered husband.  She is shown a dance of
madmen and, "behind a traverse, the artificial figures of her children,
appearing as if dead."  Treated in this elaborate fashion, that
"terror," which Aristotle said it was one of the objects of tragedy to
move, loses half its dignity.  Webster's images have the smell of the
charnel house about them.

  "She would not after the report keep fresh
  As long as flowers on graves."
  "We are only like dead walls or vaulted graves,
  That, ruined, yield no echo.
            O this gloomy world!
  In what a shadow or deep pit of darkness
  Doth womanish and fearful mankind live!"

Webster had an intense and somber genius.  In diction he was the most
Shaksperian of the Elisabethan dramatists, and there are sudden gleams
of beauty among his dark horrors, which light up a whole scene with
some abrupt touch of feeling.

  "Cover her face; mine eyes dazzle; she died young,"

says the brother of the Duchess, when he has procured her murder and
stands before the corpse.  _Vittoria Corombona_ is described in the old
editions as "a night-piece," and it should, indeed, be {135} acted by
the shuddering light of torches, and with the cry of the screech-owl to
punctuate the speeches.  The scene of Webster's two best tragedies was
laid, like many of Ford's, Cyril Tourneur's, and Beaumont and
Fletcher's, in Italy--the wicked and splendid Italy of the Renaissance,
which had such a fascination for the Elisabethan imagination.  It was
to them the land of the Borgias and the Cenci; of families of proud
nobles, luxurious, cultivated, but full of revenges and ferocious
cunning; subtle poisoners, who killed with a perfumed glove or fan;
parricides, atheists, committers of unnamable crimes, and inventors of
strange and delicate varieties of sin.

But a very few have here been mentioned of the great host of dramatists
who kept the theaters busy through the reigns of Elisabeth, James I.,
and Charles I.  The last of the race was James Shirley, who died in
1666, and whose thirty-eight plays were written during the reign of
Charles I. and the Commonwealth.

In the miscellaneous prose and poetry of this period there is lacking
the free, exulting, creative impulse of the elder generation, but there
is a soberer feeling and a certain scholarly choiceness which commend
themselves to readers of bookish tastes.  Even that quaintness of
thought, which is a mark of the Commonwealth writers, is not without
its attraction for a nice literary palate.  Prose became now of greater
relative importance than ever before.  Almost every distinguished
writer of {136} the time lent his pen to one or the other party in the
great theological and political controversy of the time.  There were
famous theologians, like Hales, Chillingworth, and Baxter; historians
and antiquaries, like Selden, Knolles, and Cotton; philosophers, such
as Hobbes, Lord Herbert of Cherbury, and More, the Platonist; and
writers in rural science--which now entered upon its modern,
experimental phase, under the stimulus of Bacon's writings--among whom
may be mentioned Wallis, the mathematician; Boyle, the chemist, and
Harvey, the discoverer of the circulation of the blood.  These are
outside of our subject, but in the strictly literary prose of the time,
the same spirit of roused inquiry is manifest, and the same disposition
to a thorough and exhaustive treatment of a subject which is proper to
the scientific attitude of mind.  The line between true and false
science, however, had not yet been drawn.  The age was pedantic, and
appealed too much to the authority of antiquity.  Hence we have such
monuments of perverse and curious erudition as Robert Burton's _Anatomy
of Melancholy_, 1621; and Sir Thomas Browne's _Pseudodoxia Epidemica_,
or _Inquiries into Vulgar and Common Errors_, 1646.  The former of
these was the work of an Oxford scholar, an astrologer, who cast his
own horoscope, and a victim himself of the atrabilious humor, from
which he sought relief in listening to the ribaldry of barge-men, and
in compiling this _Anatomy_, in which the causes, symptoms,
prognostics, and cures of {137} melancholy are considered in numerous
partitions, sections, members, and subsections.  The work is a mosaic
of quotations.  All literature is ransacked for anecdotes and
instances, and the book has thus become a mine of out-of-the-way
learning, in which later writers have dug.  Lawrence Sterne helped
himself freely to Burton's treasures, and Dr. Johnson said that the
_Anatomy_ was the only book that ever took him out of bed two hours
sooner than he wished to rise.

The vulgar and common errors which Sir Thomas Browne set himself to
refute, were such as these: That dolphins are crooked, that Jews stink,
that a man hath one rib less than a woman, that Xerxes's army drank up
rivers, that cicades are bred out of cuckoo-spittle, that Hannibal
split Alps with vinegar, together with many similar fallacies touching
Pope Joan, the Wandering Jew, the decuman or tenth wave, the blackness
of negroes, Friar Bacon's brazen head, etc.  Another book in which
great learning and ingenuity were applied to trifling ends, was the
same author's _Garden of Cyrus; or, the Quincuncial Lozenge or Network
Plantations of the Ancients_, in which a mystical meaning is sought in
the occurrence throughout nature and art of the figure of the quincunx
or lozenge.  Browne was a physician of Norwich, where his library,
museum, aviary, and botanic garden were thought worthy of a special
visit by the Royal Society.  He was an antiquary and a naturalist, and
deeply read in the schoolmen and the Christian fathers.  He was {138} a
mystic, and a writer of a rich and peculiar imagination, whose thoughts
have impressed themselves upon many kindred minds, like Coleridge, De
Quincey, and Emerson.  Two of his books belong to literature, _Religio
Medici_, published in 1642, and _Hydriotaphia; or, Urn Burial_, 1658, a
discourse upon rites of burial and incremation, suggested by some Roman
funeral urns, dug up in Norfolk.  Browne's style, though too highly
Latinized, is a good example of Commonwealth prose, that stately,
cumbrous, brocaded prose, which had something of the flow and measure
of verse, rather than the quicker, colloquial movement of modern
writing.  Browne stood aloof from the disputes of his time, and in his
very subjects there is a calm and meditative remoteness from the daily
interests of men.  His _Religio Medici_ is full of a wise tolerance and
a singular elevation of feeling.  "At the sight of a cross, or
crucifix, I can dispense with my hat, but scarce with the thought or
memory of my Saviour."  "They only had the advantage of a bold and
noble faith, who lived before his coming."  "They go the fairest way to
heaven, that would serve God without a hell."  "All things are
artificial, for Nature is the art of God."  The last chapter of the
_Urn Burial_ is an almost rithmical descant on mortality and oblivion.
The style kindles slowly into a somber eloquence.  It is the most
impressive and extraordinary passage in the prose literature of the
time.  Browne, like Hamlet, loved to "consider too curiously."  His
subtlety {139} led him to "pose his apprehension with those involved
enigmas and riddles of the Trinity--with incarnation and resurrection;"
and to start odd inquiries; "what song the Syrens sang, or what name
Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women;" or whether, after
Lazarus was raised from the dead, "his heir might lawfully detain his
inheritance."  The quaintness of his phrase appears at every turn.
"Charles the Fifth can never hope to live within two Methuselahs of
Hector."  "Generations pass, while some trees stand, and old families
survive not three oaks."  "Mummy is become merchandise; Mizraim cures
wounds, and Pharaoh is sold for balsams."

One of the pleasantest of old English humorists is Thomas Fuller, who
was a chaplain in the royal army during the civil war, and wrote, among
other things, a _Church History of Britain_; a book of religious
meditations, _Good Thoughts in Bad Times_, and a "character" book, _The
Holy and Profane State_.  His most important work, the _Worthies of
England_, was published in 1662, the year after his death.  This was a
description of every English county; its natural commodities,
manufactures, wonders, proverbs, etc., with brief biographies of its
memorable persons.  Fuller had a well-stored memory, sound piety, and
excellent common sense.  Wit was his leading intellectual trait, and
the quaintness which he shared with his contemporaries appears in his
writings in a fondness for puns, droll turns of expressions, and bits
of eccentric {140} suggestion.  His prose, unlike Browne's, Milton's,
and Jeremy Taylor's, is brief, simple, and pithy.  His dry vein of
humor was imitated by the American Cotton Mather, in his _Magnalia_,
and by many of the English and New England divines of the 17th century.

Jeremy Taylor was also a chaplain in the king's army, was several times
imprisoned for his opinions, and was afterward made, by Charles II.,
Bishop of Down and Connor.  He is a devotional rather than a
theological writer, and his _Holy Living_ and _Holy Dying_ are
religious classics.  Taylor, like Sidney, was a "warbler of poetic
prose."  He has been called the prose Spenser, and his English has the
opulence, the gentle elaboration, the "linked sweetness long drawn out"
of the poet of the _Faery Queene_.  In fullness and resonance, Taylor's
diction resembles that of the great orators, though it lacks their
nervous energy.  His pathos is exquisitely tender, and his numerous
similes have Spenser's pictorial amplitude.  Some of them have become
commonplaces for admiration, notably his description of the flight of
the skylark, and the sentence in which he compares the gradual
awakening of the human faculties to the sunrise, which "first opens a
little eye of heaven, and sends away the spirits of darkness, and gives
light to a cock, and calls up the lark to matins, and by and by gilds
the fringes of a cloud, and peeps over the eastern hills."  Perhaps the
most impressive single passage of Taylor's is the concluding chapter in
{141} _Holy Dying_.  From the midst of the sickening paraphernalia of
death which he there accumulates, rises that delicate image of the
fading rose, one of the most perfect things in its wording, in all our
prose literature: "But so have I seen a rose newly springing from the
clefts of its hood, and at first it was as fair as the morning, and
full with the dew of heaven as a lamb's fleece; but when a ruder breath
had forced open its virgin modesty, and dismantled its too youthful and
unripe retirements, it began to put on darkness and to decline to
softness and the symptoms of a sickly age; it bowed the head and broke
its stock; and at night, having lost some of its leaves and all its
beauty, it fell into the portion of weeds and outworn faces."

With the progress of knowledge and discussion many kinds of prose
literature, which were not absolutely new, now began to receive wider
extension.  Of this sort are the _Letters from Italy_, and other
miscellanies included in the _Reliquiae Wottonianae_, or remains of Sir
Henry Wotton, English embassador at Venice in the reign of James I.,
and subsequently Provost of Eton College.  Also the _Table Talk_--full
of incisive remarks--left by John Selden, whom Milton pronounced the
first scholar of his age, and who was a distinguished authority in
legal antiquities and international law, furnished notes to Drayton's
_Polyolbion_, and wrote upon Eastern religions, and upon the Arundel
marbles.  Literary biography was represented by the charming little
_Lives_ of good old Izaak Walton, the first {142} edition of whose
_Compleat Angler_ was printed in 1653.  The lives were five in number,
of Hooker, Wotton, Donne, Herbert, and Sanderson.  Several of these
were personal friends of the author, and Sir Henry Wotton was a brother
of the angle.  The _Compleat Angler_, though not the first piece of
sporting literature in English, is unquestionably the most popular, and
still remains a favorite with "all that are lovers of virtue, and dare
trust in providence, and be quiet, and go a-angling."  As in Ascham's
_Toxophilus_, the instruction is conveyed in dialogue form, but the
technical part of the book is relieved by many delightful digressions.
_Piscator_ and his pupil _Venator_ pursue their talk under a
honeysuckle hedge or a sycamore tree during a passing shower.  They
repair, after the day's fishing, to some honest ale-house, with
lavender in the window, and a score of ballads stuck about the wall,
where they sing catches--"old-fashioned poetry but choicely
good"--composed by the author or his friends, drink barley wine, and
eat their trout or chub.  They encounter milkmaids, who sing to them
and give them a draft of the red cow's milk, and they never cease their
praises of the angler's life, of rural contentment among the cowslip
meadows, and the quiet streams of Thames, or Lea, or Shawford Brook.

The decay of a great literary school is usually signalized by the
exaggeration of its characteristic traits.  The manner of the
Elisabethan poets was {143} pushed into mannerism by their successors.
That manner, at its best, was hardly a simple one, but in the Stuart
and Commonwealth writers it became mere extravagance.  Thus Phineas
Fletcher--a cousin of the dramatist--composed a long Spenserian
allegory, the _Purple Island_, descriptive of the human body.  George
Herbert and others made anagrams and verses shaped like an altar, a
cross, or a pair of Easter wings.  This group of poets was named, by
Dr. Johnson, in his life of Cowley, the metaphysical school.  Other
critics have preferred to call them the fantastic or conceited school,
the later Euphuists, or the English Marinists and Gongorists, after the
poets Marino and Gongora, who brought this fashion to its extreme in
Italy and in Spain.  The English _conceptistas_ were mainly clergymen
of the established Church, Donne, Herbert, Vaughan, Quarles, and
Herrick.  But Crashaw was a Roman Catholic, and Cowley--the latest of
them--a layman.

The one who set the fashion was Dr. John Donne.  Dean of St. Paul's,
whom Dryden pronounced a great wit, but not a great poet, and whom Ben
Jonson esteemed the best poet in the world for some things, but likely
to be forgotten for want of being understood.  Besides satires and
epistles in verse, he composed amatory poems in his youth, and divine
poems in his age, both kinds distinguished by such subtle obscurity,
and far-fetched ingenuities, that they read like a series of puzzles.
When this poet has occasion to write a valediction {144} to his
mistress upon going into France, he compares their temporary separation
to that of a pair of compasses:

  "Such wilt thou be to me, who must,
    Like the other foot obliquely run;
  Thy firmness makes my circle just,
    And makes me end where I begun."

If he would persuade her to marriage he calls her attention to a flea--

  "Me it sucked first and now sucks thee,
  And in this flea our two bloods mingled be."

He says that the flea is their marriage-temple, and bids her forbear to
kill it lest she thereby commit murder, suicide, and sacrilege all in
one.  Donne's figures are scholastic and smell of the lamp.  He
ransacked cosmography, astrology, alchemy, optics, the canon law, and
the divinity of the schoolmen for ink-horn terms and similes.  He was
in verse what Browne was in prose.  He loved to play with distinctions,
hyperboles, paradoxes, the very casuistry and dialectics of love or

  "Thou canst not every day give me thy heart:
  If thou canst give it then thou never gav'st it;
  Love's riddles are that though thy heart depart,
  It stays at home and thou with losing sav'st it."

Donne's verse is usually as uncouth as his thought.  But there is a
real passion slumbering under these ashy heaps of conceit, and
occasionally {145} a pure flame darts up, as in the justly admired

            "Her pure and eloquent blood
  Spoke in her cheek and so divinely wrought
  That one might almost say her body thought."

This description of Donne is true, with modifications, of all the
metaphysical poets.  They had the same forced and unnatural style.  The
ordinary laws of the association of ideas were reversed with them.  It
was not the nearest, but the remotest, association that was called up.
"Their attempts," said Johnson, "were always analytic: they broke every
image into fragments."  The finest spirit among them was "holy George
Herbert," whose _Temple_ was published in 1631.  The titles in this
volume were such as the following: Christmas, Easter, Good Friday, Holy
Baptism, The Cross, The Church Porch, Church Music, The Holy
Scriptures, Redemption, Faith, Doomsday.  Never since, except, perhaps,
in Keble's _Christian Year_, have the ecclesiastic ideals of the
Anglican Church--the "beauty of holiness"--found such sweet expression
in poetry.  The verses entitled _Virtue_--

  "Sweet day so cool, so calm, so bright," etc.

are known to most readers, as well as the line,

  "Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws, makes that
      and the action fine."

The quaintly named pieces, the _Elixir_, the _Collar_, the _Pulley_,
are full of deep thought and spiritual {146} feeling.  But Herbert's
poetry is constantly disfigured by bad taste.  Take this passage from

  "Listen, sweet dove, unto my song,
    And spread thy golden wings on me,
  Hatching my tender heart so long,
    Till it get wing and fly away with thee,"

which is almost as ludicrous as the epitaph, written by his
contemporary, Carew, on the daughter of Sir Thomas Wentworth, whose soul

          . . . "grew so fast within
  It broke the outward shell of sin,
  And so was hatched a cherubin."

Another of these Church poets was Henry Vaughan, "the Silurist," or
Welshman, whose fine piece, the _Retreat_, has been often compared with
Wordsworth's _Ode on the Intimations of Immortality_.  Francis Quarles'
_Divine Emblems_ long remained a favorite book with religious readers,
both in Old and New England.  Emblem books, in which engravings of a
figurative design were accompanied with explanatory letterpress in
verse, were a popular class of literature in the 17th century.  The
most famous of them all were Jacob Catt's Dutch emblems.

One of the most delightful of English lyric poets is Robert Herrick,
whose _Hesperides_, 1648 has lately received such sympathetic
illustration from the pencil of an American artist, Mr. E. A. Abbey.
Herrick was a clergyman of the English Church, {147} and was expelled
by the Puritans from his living, the vicarage of Dean Prior, in
Devonshire.  The most quoted of his religious poems is, _How to Keep a
True Lent_.  But it may be doubted whether his tastes were prevailingly
clerical; his poetry certainly was not.  He was a disciple of Ben
Jonson and his boon companion at

          . . . "those lyric feasts
    Made at the Sun,
  The Dog, the Triple Tun;
  Where we such clusters had
  As made us nobly wild, not mad.
  And yet each verse of thine
  Outdid the meat, outdid the frolic wine."

Herrick's _Noble Numbers_ seldom rises above the expression of a
cheerful gratitude and contentment.  He had not the subtlety and
elevation of Herbert, but he surpassed him in the grace, melody,
sensuous beauty, and fresh lyrical impulse of his verse.  The conceits
of the metaphysical school appear in Herrick only in the form of an
occasional pretty quaintness.  He is the poet of English parish
festivals and of English flowers, the primrose, the whitethorn, the
daffodil.  He sang the praises of the country life, love songs to
"Julia," and hymns of thanksgiving for simple blessings.  He has been
called the English Catullus, but he strikes rather the Horatian note of
_Carpe diem_, and regret at the shortness of life and youth in many of
his best-known poems, such as {148} _Gather ye Rose-buds while ye may_,
and _To Corinna, To Go a Maying_.

Abraham Cowley is now less remembered for his poetry than for his
pleasant volume of Essays, published after the Restoration; but he was
thought in his own time a better poet than Milton.  His collection of
love songs--the _Mistress_--is a mass of cold conceits, in the
metaphysical manner; but his elegies on Crashaw and Harvey have much
dignity and natural feeling.  He introduced the Pindaric ode into
English, and wrote an epic poem on a biblical subject--the
_Davideis_--now quite unreadable.  Cowley was a royalist and followed
the exiled court to France.  Side by side with the Church poets were
the cavaliers--Carew, Waller, Lovelace, Suckling, L'Estrange, and
others--gallant courtiers and officers in the royal army, who mingled
love and loyalty in their strains.  Colonel Richard Lovelace, who lost
every thing in the king's service and was several times imprisoned,
wrote two famous songs--_To Lucasta on going to the Wars_--in which
occur the lines,

  "I could not love thee, dear, so much,
    Loved I not honor more."

and _To Althaea from Prison_, in which he sings "the sweetness, mercy,
majesty, and glories of his king," and declares that "stone walls do
not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage."  Another of the cavaliers was
sir John Suckling, who formed a plot to rescue the Earl of Stratford,
raised a troop of horse {149} for Charles I., was impeached by the
Parliament and fled to France.  He was a man of wit and pleasure, who
penned a number of gay trifles, but has been saved from oblivion
chiefly by his exquisite _Ballad upon a Wedding_.  Thomas Carew and
Edmund Waller were poets of the same stamp--graceful and easy, but
shallow in feeling.  Waller, who followed the court to Paris, was the
author of two songs, which are still favorites, _Go, Lovely Rose_, and
_On a Girdle_, and he first introduced the smooth correct manner of
writing in couplets, which Dryden and Pope carried to perfection.
Gallantry rather than love was the inspiration of these courtly
singers.  In such verses as Carew's _Encouragements to a Lover_, and
George Wither's _The Manly Heart_--

  "If she be not so to me,
  What care I how fair she be?"

we see the revolt against the high, passionate, Sidneian love of the
Elisabethan sonneteers, and the note of _persiflage_ that was to mark
the lyrical verse of the Restoration.  But the poetry of the cavaliers
reached its high-water mark in one fiery-hearted song by the noble and
unfortunate James Graham, Marquis of Montrose, who invaded Scotland in
the interest of Charles II., and was taken prisoner and put to death at
Edinburgh in 1650.

  "My dear and only love, I pray
    That little world of thee
  Be governed by no other sway
    Than purest monarchy."

{150} In language borrowed from the politics of the time, he cautions
his mistress against _synods_ or _committees_ in her heart; swears to
make her glorious by his pen and famous by his sword; and with that
fine recklessness which distinguished the dashing troopers of Prince
Rupert, he adds, in words that have been often quoted,

  "He either fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
  That dares not put it to the touch
    To gain or lose it all."

John Milton, the greatest English poet except Shakspere, was born in
London in 1608.  His father was a scrivener, an educated man, and a
musical composer of some merit.  At his home Milton was surrounded with
all the influences of a refined and well ordered Puritan household of
the better class.  He inherited his father's musical tastes, and during
the latter part of his life, he spent a part of every afternoon in
playing the organ.  No poet has written more beautifully of music than
Milton.  One of his sonnets was addressed to Henry Lawes, the composer,
who wrote the airs to the songs in _Comus_.  Milton's education was
most careful and thorough.  He spent seven years at Cambridge where,
from his personal beauty and fastidious habits, he was called "The lady
of Christ's."  At Horton, in Buckinghamshire, where his father had a
country seat, he passed five years more, perfecting himself in his
studies, and then traveled for fifteen months, {151} mainly in Italy,
visiting Naples and Rome, but residing at Florence.  Here he saw
Galileo, a prisoner of the Inquisition "for thinking otherwise in
astronomy than his Dominican and Franciscan licensers thought."  Milton
is the most scholarly and the most truly classical of English poets.
His Latin verse, for elegance and correctness, ranks with Addison's;
and his Italian poems were the admiration of the Tuscan scholars.  But
his learning appears in his poetry only in the form of a fine and
chastened result, and not in laborious allusion and pedantic citation,
as too often in Ben Jonson, for instance.  "My father," he wrote,
"destined me, while yet a little child, for the study of humane
letters."  He was also destined for the ministry, but, "coming to some
maturity of years and perceiving what tyranny had invaded the
Church, . . . I thought it better to prefer a blameless silence, before
the sacred office of speaking, bought and begun with servitude and
forswearing."  Other hands than a bishop's were laid upon his head.
"He who would not be frustrate of his hope to write well hereafter," he
says, "ought himself to be a true poem."  And he adds that his "natural
haughtiness" saved him from all impurity of living.  Milton had a
sublime self-respect.  The dignity and earnestness of the Puritan
gentleman blended in his training with the culture of the Renaissance.
Born into an age of spiritual conflict, he dedicated his gift to the
service of Heaven, and he became, like Heine, a valiant soldier in the
war for {152} liberation.  He was the poet of a cause, and his song was
keyed to

          "The Dorian mood
  Of flutes and soft recorders such as raised
  To heighth of noblest temper, heroes old
  Arming to battle."

On comparing Milton with Shakspere, with his universal sympathies and
receptive imagination, one perceives a loss in breadth, but a gain in
intense personal conviction.  He introduced a new note into English
poetry, the passion for truth and the feeling of religious sublimity.
Milton's was an heroic age, and its song must be lyric rather than
dramatic; its singer must be in the fight and of it.

Of the verses which he wrote at Cambridge, the most important was his
splendid ode _On the Morning of Christ's Nativity_.  At Horton he
wrote, among other things, the companion pieces, _L'Allegro_ and _Il
Penseroso_, of a kind quite new in English, giving to the landscape an
expression in harmony with two contrasted moods.  _Comus_, which
belongs to the same period, was the perfection of the Elisabethan court
masque, and was presented at Ludlow Castle in 1634, on the occasion of
the installation of the Earl of Bridgewater as Lord President of Wales.
Under the guise of a skillful addition to the Homeric allegory of
Circe, with her cup of enchantment, it was a Puritan song in praise of
chastity and temperance.  _Lycidas_, in like manner, was the perfection
of the Elisabethan {153} pastoral elegy.  It was contributed to a
volume of memorial verses on the death of Edward King, a Cambridge
friend of Milton's, who was drowned in the Irish Channel in 1637.  In
one stern strain, which is put into the mouth of St. Peter, the author
"foretells the ruin of our corrupted clergy, then at their height."

  "But that two-handed engine at the door
  Stands ready to smite once and smite no more."

This was Milton's last utterance in English verse before the outbreak
of the civil war, and it sounds the alarm of the impending struggle.
In technical quality _Lycidas_ is the most wonderful of all Milton's
poems.  The cunningly intricate harmony of the verse, the pressed and
packed language with its fullness of meaning and allusion make it
worthy of the minutest study.  In these early poems, Milton, merely as
a poet, is at his best.  Something of the Elisabethan style still
clings to them; but their grave sweetness, their choice wording, their
originality in epithet, name, and phrase, were novelties of Milton's
own.  His English masters were Spenser, Fletcher, and Sylvester, the
translator of Du Bartas's _La Sepmaine_, but nothing of Spenser's
prolixity, or Fletcher's effeminacy, or Sylvester's quaintness is found
in Milton's pure, energetic diction.  He inherited their beauties, but
his taste had been tempered to a finer edge by his studies in Greek and
Hebrew poetry.  He was the last of the Elisabethans, and {154} his
style was at once the crown of the old and a departure into the new.
In masque, elegy, and sonnet, he set the seal to the Elisabethan
poetry, said the last word, and closed one great literary era.

In 1639 the breach between Charles I. and his Parliament brought Milton
back from Italy.  "I thought it base to be traveling at my ease for
amusement, while my fellow-countrymen at home were fighting for
liberty."  For the next twenty years he threw himself into the contest,
and poured forth a succession of tracts, in English and Latin, upon the
various public questions at issue.  As a political thinker, Milton had
what Bacon calls "the humor of a scholar."  In a country of endowed
grammar schools and universities hardly emerged from a mediaeval
discipline and curriculum, he wanted to set up Greek gymnasia and
philosophical schools, after the fashion of the Porch and the Academy.
He would have imposed an Athenian democracy upon a people trained in
the traditions of monarchy and episcopacy.  At the very moment when
England had grown tired of the Protectorate and was preparing to
welcome back the Stuarts, he was writing _An Easy and Ready Way to
Establish a Free Commonwealth_.  Milton acknowledged that in prose he
had the use of his left hand only.  There are passages of fervid
eloquence, where the style swells into a kind of lofty chant, with a
rithmical rise and fall to it, as in parts of the English Book of
Common Prayer.  But in {155} general his sentences are long and
involved, full of inventions and latinized constructions.  Controversy
at that day was conducted on scholastic lines.  Each disputant, instead
of appealing at once to the arguments of expediency and common sense,
began with a formidable display of learning, ransacking Greek and Latin
authors and the fathers of the Church for opinions in support of his
own position.  These authorities he deployed at tedious length and
followed them up with heavy scurrilities and "excusations," by way of
attack and defense.  The dispute between Milton and Salmasius over the
execution of Charles I. was like a duel between two knights in full
armor striking at each other with ponderous maces.  The very titles of
these pamphlets are enough to frighten off a modern reader: _A
Confutation of the Animadversions upon a Defense of a Humble
Remonstrance against a Treatise, entitled Of Reformation_.  The most
interesting of Milton's prose tracts is his _Areopagitica: A Speech for
the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing_, 1644.  The arguments in this are
of permanent force; but if the reader will compare it, or Jeremy
Taylor's _Liberty of Prophesying_, with Locke's _Letters on
Toleration_, he will see how much clearer and more convincing is the
modern method of discussion, introduced by writers like Hobbes and
Locke and Dryden.  Under the Protectorate Milton was appointed Latin
Secretary to the Council of State.  In the diplomatic correspondence
which was his official duty, and in the composition of his tract, {156}
_Defensio pro Populo Anglicano_, he overtasked his eyes, and in 1654
became totally blind.  The only poetry of Milton's belonging to the
years 1640-1660 are a few sonnets of the pure Italian form, mainly
called forth by public occasions.  By the Elisabethans the sonnet had
been used mainly in love poetry.  In Milton's hands, said Wordsworth,
"the thing became a trumpet."  Some of his were addressed to political
leaders, like Fairfax, Cromwell, and Sir Henry Vane; and of these the
best is, perhaps, the sonnet written on the massacre of the Vaudois
Protestants--"a collect in verse," it has been called--which has the
fire of a Hebrew prophet invoking the divine wrath upon the oppressors
of Israel.  Two were on his own blindness, and in these there is not
one selfish repining, but only a regret that the value of his service
is impaired--

  "Will God exact day labor, light denied?"

After the restoration of the Stuarts, in 1660, Milton was for a while
in peril, by reason of the part that he had taken against the king.  But

  "On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues,
  In darkness and with dangers compassed round
  And solitude,"

he bated no jot of heart or hope.  Henceforth he becomes the most
heroic and affecting figure in English literary history.  Years before
he had planned an epic poem on the subject of King {157} Arthur, and
again a sacred tragedy on man's fall and redemption.  These experiments
finally took shape in _Paradise Lost_, which was given to the world in
1667.  This is the epic of English Puritanism and of Protestant
Christianity.  It was Milton's purpose to

          "assert eternal Providence
  And justify the ways of God to men,"

or, in other words, to embody his theological system in verse.  This
gives a doctrinal rigidity and even dryness to parts of the _Paradise
Lost_, which injure its effect as a poem.  His "God the father turns a
school divine:" his Christ, as has been wittily said, is "God's good
boy:" the discourses of Raphael to Adam are scholastic lectures: Adam
himself is too sophisticated for the state of innocence, and Eve is
somewhat insipid.  The real protagonist of the poem is Satan, upon
whose mighty figure Milton unconsciously bestowed something of his own
nature, and whose words of defiance might almost have come from some
Republican leader when the Good Old Cause went down.

        "What though the field be lost?
  All is not lost, the unconquerable will
  And study of revenge, immortal hate,
  And courage never to submit or yield."

But when all has been said that can be said in disparagement or
qualification, _Paradise Lost_ remains the foremost of English poems
and the {158} sublimest of all epics.  Even in those parts where
theology encroaches most upon poetry, the diction, though often heavy,
is never languid.  Milton's blank verse in itself is enough to bear up
the most prosaic theme, and so is his epic English, a style more
massive and splendid than Shakspere's, and comparable, like
Tertullian's Latin, to a river of molten gold.  Of the countless single
beauties that sow his page

  "Thick as autumnal leaves that strew the brooks
  In Valombrosa,"

there is no room to speak, nor of the astonishing fullness of substance
and multitude of thoughts which have caused the _Paradise Lost_ to be
called the book of universal knowledge.  "The heat of Milton's mind,"
said Dr. Johnson, "might be said to sublimate his learning and throw
off into his work the spirit of science, unmingled with its grosser
parts."  The truth of this remark is clearly seen upon a comparison of
Milton's description of the creation, for example, with corresponding
passages in Sylvester's _Divine Weeks and Works_ (translated from the
Huguenot poet, Du Bartas), which was, in some sense, his original.  But
the most heroic thing in Milton's heroic poem is Milton.  There are no
strains in _Paradise Lost_ so absorbing as those in which the poet
breaks the strict epic bounds and speaks directly of himself, as in the
majestic lament over his own blindness, and in the invocation to
Urania, which open the third and seventh {159} books.  Every-where,
too, one reads between the lines.  We think of the dissolute cavaliers,
as Milton himself undoubtedly was thinking of them, when we read of
"the sons of Belial flown with insolence and wine," or when the Puritan
turns among the sweet landscapes of Eden, to denounce

          "court amours
  Mixed dance, or wanton mask, or midnight ball,
  Or serenade which the starved lover sings
  To his proud fair, best quitted with disdain."

And we think of Milton among the triumphant royalists when we read of
the Seraph Abdiel "faithful found among the faithless."

  "Nor number nor example with him wrought
  To swerve from truth or change his constant mind,
  Though single.  From amidst them forth he passed,
  Long way through hostile scorn, which he sustained
  Superior, nor of violence feared aught:
  And with retorted scorn his back he turned
  On those proud towers to swift destruction doomed."

_Paradise Regained_ and _Samson Agonistes_ were published in 1671.  The
first of these treated in four books Christ's temptation in the
wilderness, a subject that had already been handled in the Spenserian
allegorical manner by Giles Fletcher, a brother of the Purple Islander,
in his _Christ's Victory and Triumph_, 1610.  The superiority of
_Paradise Lost_ to its sequel is not without significance.  The
Puritans were Old Testament men.  Their God was the Hebrew Jehovah,
whose single divinity the Catholic mythology had overlaid with the
{160} figures of the Son, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.  They
identified themselves in thought with his chosen people, with the
militant theocracy of the Jews.  Their sword was the sword of the Lord
and of Gideon.  "To your tents, O Israel," was the cry of the London
mob when the bishops were committed to the Tower.  And when the fog
lifted, on the morning of the battle of Dunbar, Cromwell exclaimed,
"Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered: like as the sun
riseth, so shalt thou drive them away."

_Samson Agonistes_, though Hebrew in theme and in spirit, was in form a
Greek tragedy.  It had chorus and semi-chorus, and preserved the
so-called dramatic unities; that is, the scene was unchanged, and there
were no intervals of time between the acts.  In accordance with the
rules of the Greek theater, but two speakers appeared upon the stage at
once, and there was no violent action.  The death of Samson is related
by a messenger.  Milton's reason for the choice of this subject is
obvious.  He himself was Samson, shorn of his strength, blind, and
alone among enemies; given over

      "to the unjust tribunals, under change of times,
  And condemnation of the ungrateful multitude."

As Milton grew older he discarded more and more the graces of poetry,
and relied purely upon the structure and the thought.  In _Paradise
Lost_, although there is little resemblance to Elisabethan work--such
as one notices in _Comus_ and the {161} Christmas hymn--yet the style
is rich, especially in the earlier books.  But in _Paradise Regained_
it is severe to bareness, and in _Samson_, even to ruggedness.  Like
Michelangelo, with whose genius he had much in common, Milton became
impatient of finish or of mere beauty.  He blocked out his work in
masses, left rough places and surfaces not filled in, and inclined to
express his meaning by a symbol, rather than work it out in detail.  It
was a part of his austerity, his increasing preference for structural
over decorative methods, to give up rime for blank verse.  His latest
poem, _Samson Agonistes_, a metrical study of the highest interest.

Milton was not quite alone among the poets of his time in espousing the
popular cause.  Andrew Marvell, who was his assistant in the Latin
secretaryship and sat in Parliament for Hull, after the Restoration,
was a good Republican, and wrote a fine _Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's
Return from Ireland_.  There is also a rare imaginative quality in his
_Song of the Exiles in Bermuda_, _Thoughts in a Garden_, and _The Girl
Describes her Fawn_.  George Wither, who was imprisoned for his
satires, also took the side of the Parliament, but there is little that
is distinctively Puritan in his poetry.

1. Milton's Poetical Works.  Edited by David Masson.  Macmillan.

2. Selections from Milton's Prose.  Edited by F. D. Myers.  (Parchment


3. England's Antiphon.  By George Macdonald.

4. Robert Herrick's Hesperides.

5. Sir Thomas Browne's Religio Medici and Hydriotaphia.  Edited by
Willis Bund.  Sampson Low & Co., 1873.

6. Thomas.  Fuller's Good Thoughts in Bad Times.

7. Izaak Walton's Compleat Angler.





The Stuart Restoration was a period of descent from poetry to prose,
from passion and imagination to wit and understanding.  The serious,
exalted mood of the Civil War and the Commonwealth had spent itself and
issued in disillusion.  There followed a generation of wits, logical,
skeptical, and prosaic, without earnestness, as without principle.  The
characteristic literature of such a time is criticism, satire, and
burlesque, and such, indeed, continued to be the course of English
literary history for a century after the return of the Stuarts.  The
age was not a stupid one, but one of active inquiry.  The Royal
Society, for the cultivation of the natural sciences, was founded in
1662.  There were able divines in the pulpit and at the
universities--Barrow, Tillotson, Stillingfleet, South, and others:
scholars, like Bentley; historians, like Clarendon and Burnet;
scientists, like Boyle and Newton; philosophers, like Hobbes and Locke.
But of poetry, in any high sense of the word, there was little between
the time of Milton and the time of Goldsmith and Gray.

{164} The English writers of this period were strongly influenced by
the contemporary literature of France, by the comedies of Moliere, the
tragedies of Corneille and Racine, and the satires, epistles, and
versified essays of Boileau.  Many of the Restoration writers--Waller,
Cowley, Davenant, Wycherley, Villiers, and others--had been in France
during the exile, and brought back with them French tastes.  John
Dryden (1631-1700), who is the great literary figure of his generation,
has been called the first of the moderns.  From the reign of Charles
II., indeed, we may date the beginnings of modern English life.  What
we call "society" was forming, the town, the London world.  "Coffee,
which makes the politician wise," had just been introduced, and the
ordinaries of Ben Jonson's time gave way to coffee-houses, like Will's
and Button's, which became the head-quarters of literary and political
gossip.  The two great English parties, as we know them to-day, were
organized: the words _Whig_ and _Tory_ date from this reign.  French
etiquette and fashions came in and French phrases of convenience--such
as _coup de grace_, _bel esprit_, etc.--began to appear in English
prose.  Literature became intensely urban and partisan.  It reflected
city life, the disputes of faction, and the personal quarrels of
authors.  The politics of the Great Rebellion had been of heroic
proportions, and found fitting expression in song.  Rut in the
Revolution of 1688 the issues were constitutional and to be settled by
the arguments of lawyers.  Measures were in {165} question rather than
principles, and there was little inspiration to the poet in Exclusion
Bills and Acts of Settlement.

Court and society, in the reign of Charles II. and James II., were
shockingly dissolute, and in literature, as in life, the reaction
against Puritanism went to great extremes.  The social life of the time
is faithfully reflected in the diary of Samuel Pepys.  He was a
simple-minded man, the son of a London tailor, and became, himself,
secretary to the admiralty.  His diary was kept in cipher, and
published only in 1825.  Being written for his own eye, it is
singularly outspoken; and its naive, gossipy, confidential tone makes
it a most diverting book, as it is, historically, a most valuable one.

Perhaps the most popular book of its time was Samuel Butler's
_Hudibras_ (1663-64), a burlesque romance in ridicule of the Puritans.
The king carried a copy of it in his pocket, and Pepys testifies that
it was quoted and praised on all sides.  Ridicule of the Puritans was
nothing new.  Zeal-of-the-land Busy, in Ben Jonson's _Bartholomew
Fair_, is an early instance of the kind.  There was nothing laughable
about the earnestness of men like Cromwell, Milton, Algernon Sidney,
and Sir Henry Vane.  But even the French Revolution had its humors; and
as the English Puritan Revolution gathered head and the extremer
sectaries pressed to the front--Quakers, New Lights, Fifth Monarchy
Men, Ranters, etc.--its grotesque sides came uppermost.  Butler's hero
is a Presbyterian Justice of the Peace {166} who sallies forth with his
secretary, Ralpho--an Independent and Anabaptist--like Don Quixote with
Sancho Panza, to suppress May games and bear-baitings.  (Macaulay, it
will be remembered, said that the Puritans disapproved of bear-baiting,
not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to
the spectators.)  The humor of _Hudibras_ is not of the finest.  The
knight and squire are discomfited in broadly comic adventures, hardly
removed from the rough, physical drolleries of a pantomime or a circus.
The deep heart-laughter of Cervantes, the pathos on which his humor
rests, is, of course, not to be looked for in Butler.  But he had wit
of a sharp, logical kind, and his style surprises with all manner of
verbal antics.  He is almost as great a phrase-master as Pope, though
in a coarser kind.  His verse is a smart doggerel, and his poem has
furnished many stock sayings, as, for example,

  "'Tis strange what difference there can be
  'Twixt tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee."

_Hudibras_ has had many imitators, not the least successful of whom was
the American John Trumbull, in his revolutionary satire _M'Fingal_,
some couplets of which are generally quoted as Butler's, as, for

  "No man e'er felt the halter draw
  With good opinion of the law."

The rebound against Puritanism is seen no less plainly in the drama of
the Restoration, and the {167} stage now took vengeance for its
enforced silence under the Protectorate.  Two theaters were opened
under the patronage, respectively, of the king and of his brother, the
Duke of York.  The manager of the latter, Sir William Davenant--who had
fought on the king's side, been knighted for his services, escaped to
France, and was afterward captured and imprisoned in England for two
years--had managed to evade the law against stage plays as early as
1656, by presenting his _Siege of Rhodes_ as an "opera," with
instrumental music and dialogue in recitative, after a fashion newly
sprung up in Italy.  This he brought out again in 1661, with the
dialogue recast into riming couplets in the French fashion.  Movable
painted scenery was now introduced from France, and actresses took the
female parts formerly played by boys.  This last innovation was said to
be at the request of the king, one of whose mistresses, the famous Nell
Gwynne, was the favorite actress at the King's Theater.

Upon the stage, thus reconstructed, the so-called "classical" rules of
the French theater were followed, at least in theory.  The Louis XIV.
writers were not purely creative, like Shakspere and his contemporaries
in England, but critical and self-conscious.  The Academy had been
formed in 1636, for the preservation of the purity of the French
language, and discussion abounded on the principles and methods of
literary art.  Corneille not only wrote tragedies, but essays on
tragedy, and {168} one in particular on the _Three Unities_.  Dryden
followed his example in his _Essay of Dramatic Poesie_ (1667), in which
he treated of the unities, and argued for the use of rime in tragedy in
preference to blank verse.  His own practice varied.  Most of his
tragedies were written in rime, but in the best of them, _All for
Love_, 1678, founded on Shakspere's _Antony and Cleopatra_, he returned
to blank verse.  One of the principles of the classical school was to
keep comedy and tragedy distinct.  The tragic dramatists of the
Restoration, Dryden, Howard, Settle, Crowne, Lee, and others, composed
what they called "heroic plays," such as the _Indian Emperor_, the
_Conquest of Granada_, the _Duke of Lerma_, the _Empress of Morocco_,
the _Destruction of Jerusalem_, _Nero_, and the _Rival Queens_.  The
titles of these pieces indicate their character.  Their heroes were
great historic personages.  Subject and treatment were alike remote
from nature and real life.  The diction was stilted and artificial, and
pompous declamation took the place of action and genuine passion.  The
tragedies of Racine seem chill to an Englishman brought up on
Shakspere, but to see how great an artist Racine was, in his own
somewhat narrow way, one has but to compare his _Phedre_, or
_Iphigenie_, with Dryden's ranting tragedy of _Tyrannic Love_.  These
bombastic heroic plays were made the subject of a capital burlesque,
the _Rehearsal_, by George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, acted in 1671
at the King's Theater.  The indebtedness of {169} the English stage to
the French did not stop with a general adoption of its dramatic
methods, but extended to direct imitation and translation.  Dryden's
comedy, _An Evening's Love_, was adapted from Thomas Corneille's _Le
Feint Astrologue_, and his _Sir Martin Mar-all_, from Moliere's _L'
Etourdi_.  Shadwell borrowed his _Miser_ from Moliere, and Otway made
versions of Racine's _Berenice_ and Moliere's _Fourberies de Scapin_.
Wycherley's _Country Wife_ and _Plain Dealer_, although not
translations, were based, in a sense, upon Moliere's _Ecole des Femmes_
and _Le Misanthrope_.  The only one of the tragic dramatists of the
Restoration who prolonged the traditions of the Elisabethan stage, was
Otway, whose _Venice Preserved_, written in blank verse, still keeps
the boards.  There are fine passages in Dryden's heroic plays, passages
weighty in thought and nobly sonorous in language.  There is one great
scene (between Antony and Ventidius) in his _All for Love_.  And one,
at least, of his comedies, the _Spanish Friar_, is skillfully
constructed.  But his nature was not pliable enough for the drama, and
he acknowledged that, in writing for the stage, he "forced his genius."

In sharp contrast with these heroic plays was the comic drama of the
Restoration, the plays of Wycherley, Killigrew, Etherege, Farquhar, Van
Brugh, Congreve, and others; plays like the _Country Wife_, the
_Parson's Wedding_, _She Would if She Could_, the _Beaux' Stratagem_,
the _Relapse_, and the _Way of the World_.  These were in prose, and
represented {170} the gay world and the surface of fashionable life.
Amorous intrigue was their constantly recurring theme.  Some of them
were written expressly in ridicule of the Puritans.  Such was the
_Committee_ of Dryden's brother-in-law, Sir Robert Howard, the hero of
which is a distressed gentleman, and the villain a London cit, and
president of the committee appointed by Parliament to sit upon the
sequestration of the estates of royalists.  Such were also the
_Roundheads_ and the _Banished Cavaliers_ of Mrs. Aphra Behn, who was a
female spy in the service of Charles II., at Antwerp, and one of the
coarsest of the Restoration comedians.  The profession of piety had
become so disagreeable that a shameless cynicism was now considered the
mark of a gentleman.  The ideal hero of Wycherley or Etherege was the
witty young profligate, who had seen life, and learned to disbelieve in
virtue.  His highest qualities were a contempt for cant, physical
courage, a sort of spendthrift generosity, and a good-natured readiness
to back up a friend in a quarrel, or an amour.  Virtue was
_bourgeois_--reserved for London trades-people.  A man must be either a
rake or a hypocrite.  The gentlemen were rakes, the city people were
hypocrites.  Their wives, however, were all in love with the gentlemen,
and it was the proper thing to seduce them, and to borrow their
husbands' money.  For the first and last time, perhaps, in the history
of the English drama, the sympathy of the audience was deliberately
sought for the seducer and the rogue, and the laugh {171} turned
against the dishonored husband and the honest man.  (Contrast this with
Shakspere's _Merry Wives of Windsor_.)  The women were represented as
worse than the men--scheming, ignorant, and corrupt.  The dialogue in
the best of these plays was easy, lively, and witty; the situations in
some of them audacious almost beyond belief.  Under a thin varnish of
good breeding, the sentiments and manners were really brutal.  The
loosest gallants of Beaumont and Fletcher's theater retain a fineness
of feeling and that _politesse de coeur_--which marks the gentleman.
They are poetic creatures, and own a capacity for romantic passion.
But the Manlys and Homers of the Restoration comedy have a prosaic,
cold-blooded profligacy that disgusts.  Charles Lamb, in his ingenious
essay on "The Artificial Comedy of the Last Century," apologized for
the Restoration stage, on the ground that it represented a world of
whim and unreality in which the ordinary laws of morality had no

But Macaulay answered truly, that at no time has the stage been closer
in its imitation of real life.  The theater of Wycherley and Etherege
was but the counterpart of that social condition which we read of in
Pepys's _Diary_, and in the _Memoirs_ of the Chevalier de Grammont.
This prose comedy of manners was not, indeed, "artificial" at all, in
the sense in which the contemporary tragedy--the "heroic play"--was
artificial.  It was, on the contrary, far more natural, and,
intellectually, of {172} much higher value.  In 1698 Jeremy Collier, a
non-juring Jacobite clergyman, published his _Short View of the
Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage_, which did much toward
reforming the practice of the dramatists.  The formal characteristics,
without the immorality, of the Restoration comedy, re-appeared briefly
in Goldsmith's _She Stoops to Conquer_, 1772, and Sheridan's _Rival_,
_School for Scandal_, and _Critic_, 1775-9, our last strictly
"classical" comedies.  None of this school of English comedians
approached their model, Moliere.  He excelled his imitators not only in
his French urbanity--the polished wit and delicate grace of his
style--but in the dexterous unfolding of his plot, and in the wisdom
and truth of his criticism of life, and his insight into character.  It
is a symptom of the false taste of the age that Shakspere's plays were
rewritten for the Restoration stage.  Davenant made new versions of
_Macbeth_ and _Julius Caasar_, substituting rime for blank verse.  In
conjunction with Dryden, he altered the _Tempest_, complicating the
intrigue by the introduction of a male counterpart to Miranda--a youth
who had never seen a woman.  Shadwell "improved" _Timon of Athens_, and
Nahum Tate furnished a new fifth act to _King Lear_, which turned the
play into a comedy!  In the prologue to his doctored version of
_Troilus and Cressida_, Dryden made the ghost of Shakspere speak of
himself as

  "Untaught, unpracticed in a barbarous age."

{172} Thomas Rymer, whom Pope pronounced a good critic, was very severe
upon Shakspere in his _Remarks on the Tragedies of the Last Age_; and
in his _Short View of Tragedy_, 1693, he said, "In the neighing of a
horse or in the growling of a mastiff, there is more humanity than,
many times, in the tragical flights of Shakspere."  "To Deptford by
water," writes Pepys, in his diary for August 20, 1666, "reading
Othello, Moor of Venice; which I ever heretofore esteemed a mighty good
play; but, having so lately read the _Adventures of Five Hours_, it
seems a mean thing."

In undramatic poetry the new school, both in England and in France,
took its point of departure in a reform against the extravagances of
the Marinists, or conceited poets, specially represented in England by
Donne and Cowley.  The new poets, both in their theory and practice,
insisted upon correctness, clearness, polish, moderation, and good
sense.  Boileau's _L' Art Poetique_, 1673, inspired by Horace's _Ars
Poetica_, was a treatise in verse upon the rules of correct
composition, and it gave the law in criticism for over a century, not
only in France, but in Germany and England.  It gave English poetry a
didactic turn and started the fashion of writing critical essays in
riming couplets.  The Earl of Mulgrave published two "poems" of this
kind, an _Essay on Satire_, and an _Essay on Poetry_.  The Earl of
Roscommon--who, said Addison, "makes even rules a noble poetry"--made a
metrical version of Horace's _Ars Poetica_, {174} and wrote an original
_Essay on Translated Verse_.  Of the same kind were Addison's epistle
to Sacheverel, entitled _An Account of the Greatest English Poets_, and
Pope's _Essay on Criticism_, 1711, which was nothing more than
versified maxims of rhetoric, put with Pope's usual point and
brilliancy.  The classicism of the 18th century, it has been said, was
a classicism in red heels and a periwig.  It was Latin rather than
Greek; it turned to the least imaginative side of Latin literature and
found its models, not in Vergil, Catullus, and Lucretius, but in the
satires, epistles, and didactic pieces of Juvenal, Horace, and Persius.

The chosen medium of the new poetry was the heroic couplet.  This had,
of course, been used before by English poets as far back as Chaucer.
The greater part of the _Canterbury Tales_ was written in heroic
couplets.  But now a new strength and precision were given to the
familiar measure by imprisoning the sense within the limit of the
couplet, and by treating each line as also a unit in itself.  Edmund
Waller had written verse of this kind as early as the reign of Charles
I.  He, said Dryden, "first showed us to conclude the sense most
commonly in distichs, which, in the verse of those before him, runs on
for so many lines together that the reader is out of breath to overtake
it."  Sir John Denham, also, in his _Cooper's Hill_, 1643, had written
such verse as this:

  "O, could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
  My great example as it is my theme!
  Though deep yet clear, though gentle yet not dull,
  Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full."

Here we have the regular flow, and the nice balance between the first
and second member of each couplet, and the first and second part of
each line, which characterized the verse of Dryden and Pope.

  "Waller was smooth, but Dryden taught to join
  The varying verse, the full resounding line,
  The long resounding march and energy divine."

Thus wrote Pope, using for the nonce the triplet and alexandrine by
which Dryden frequently varied the couplet.  Pope himself added a
greater neatness and polish to Dryden's verse and brought the system to
such monotonous perfection that he "made poetry a mere mechanic art."

The lyrical poetry of this generation was almost entirely worthless.
The dissolute wits of Charles the Second's court, Sedley, Rochester,
Sackville, and the "mob of gentlemen who wrote with ease" threw off a
few amatory trifles; but the age was not spontaneous or sincere enough
for genuine song.  Cowley introduced the Pindaric ode, a highly
artificial form of the lyric, in which the language was tortured into a
kind of spurious grandeur, and the meter teased into a sound and fury,
signifying nothing.  Cowley's Pindarics were filled with something
which passed for fire, but has now utterly gone out.  Nevertheless, the
fashion spread, and "he who could do nothing else," said Dr. Johnson,
{176} "could write like Pindar."  The best of these odes was Dryden's
famous _Alexander's Feast_, written for a celebration of St. Cecilia's
day by a musical club.  To this same fashion, also, we owe Gray's two
fine odes, the _Progress of Poesy_ and the _Bard_, written a
half-century later.

Dryden was not so much a great poet, as a solid thinker, with a
splendid mastery of expression, who used his energetic verse as a
vehicle for political argument and satire.  His first noteworthy poem,
_Annus Mirabilis_, 1667, was a narrative of the public events of the
year 1666, namely: the Dutch war and the great fire of London.  The
subject of _Absalom and Ahitophel_--the first part of which appeared in
1681--was the alleged plot of the Whig leader, the Earl of Shaftesbury,
to defeat the succession of the Duke of York, afterward James II., by
securing the throne to Monmouth, a natural son of Charles II.  The
parallel afforded by the story of Absalom's revolt against David was
wrought out by Dryden with admirable ingenuity and keeping.  He was at
his best in satirical character-sketches, such as the brilliant
portraits in this poem of Shaftesbury, as the false counselor,
Ahitophel, and of the Duke of Buckingham as Zimri.  The latter was
Dryden's reply to the _Rehearsal_.  _Absalom and Ahitophel_ was
followed by the _Medal_, a continuation of the same subject, and _Mac
Flecknoe_, a personal onslaught on the "true blue Protestant poet,"
Thomas Shadwell, a political and literary foe of Dryden.  Flecknoe, an
{177} obscure Irish poetaster, being about to retire from the throne of
duncedom, resolved to settle the succession upon his son, Shadwell,
whose claims to the inheritance are vigorously asserted.

  "The rest to some faint meaning make pretense,
  But Shadwell never deviates into sense. . . .
  The midwife laid her hand on his thick skull
  With this prophetic blessing--Be thou dull."

Dryden is our first great satirist.  The formal satire had been written
in the reign of Elisabeth by Donne, and by Joseph Hall, Bishop of
Exeter, and subsequently by Marston, the dramatist, by Wither, Marvell,
and others; but all of these failed through an over violence of
language, and a purpose too pronouncedly moral.  They had no lightness
of touch, no irony and mischief.  They bore down too hard, imitated
Juvenal, and lashed English society in terms befitting the corruption
of Imperial Rome.  They denounced, instructed, preached, did every
thing but satirize.  The satirist must raise a laugh.  Donne and Hall
abused men in classes: priests were worldly, lawyers greedy, courtiers
obsequious, etc.  But the easy scorn of Dryden and the delightful
malice of Pope gave a pungent personal interest to their sarcasm,
infinitely more effective than these commonplaces of satire.  Dryden
was as happy in controversy as in satire, and is unexcelled in the
power to reason in verse.  His _Religio Laici_, 1682, was a poem in
defense of the {178} English Church.  But when James II. came to the
throne Dryden turned Catholic and wrote the _Hind and Panther_, 1687,
to vindicate his new belief.  Dryden had the misfortune to be dependent
upon royal patronage and upon a corrupt stage.  He sold his pen to the
court, and in his comedies he was heavily and deliberately lewd, a sin
which he afterward acknowledged and regretted.  Milton's "soul was like
a star and dwelt apart," but Dryden wrote for the trampling multitude.
He had a coarseness of moral fiber, but was not malignant in his
satire, being of a large, careless, and forgetting nature.  He had that
masculine, enduring cast of mind which gathers heat and clearness from
motion, and grows better with age.  His _Fables_--modernizations from
Chaucer and translations from Boccaccio--written the year before he
died, are among his best works.

Dryden is also our first critic of any importance.  His critical essays
were mostly written as prefaces or dedications to his poems and plays.
But his _Essay on Dramatic Poesie_, which Dr. Johnson called our "first
regular and valuable treatise on the art of writing," was in the shape
of a Platonic dialogue.  When not misled by the French classicism of
his day, Dryden was an admirable critic, full of penetration and sound
sense.  He was the earliest writer, too, of modern literary prose.  If
the imitation of French models was an injury to poetry it was a benefit
to prose.  The best modern prose is French, and it was the essayists of
the {179} Gallicised Restoration age--Cowley, Sir William Temple, and,
above all, Dryden--who gave modern English prose that simplicity,
directness, and colloquial air, which marks it off from the more
artificial diction of Milton, Taylor, and Browne.

A few books whose shaping influences lay in the past belong by their
date to this period.  John Bunyan, a poor tinker, whose reading was
almost wholly in the Bible and Fox's _Book of Martyrs_, imprisoned for
twelve years in Bedford jail for preaching at conventicles, wrote and,
in 1678, published his _Pilgrim's Progress_, the greatest of religious
allegories.  Bunyan's spiritual experiences were so real to him that
they took visible concrete shape in his imagination as men, women,
cities, landscapes.  It is the simplest, the most transparent of
allegories.  Unlike the _Faery Queene_, the story of _Pilgrim's
Progress_ has no reason for existing apart from its inner meaning, and
yet its reality is so vivid that children read of Vanity Fair and the
Slough of Despond and Doubting Castle and the Valley of the Shadow of
Death with the same belief with which they read of Crusoe's cave or
Aladdin's palace.

It is a long step from the Bedford tinker to the cultivated poet of
_Paradise Lost_.  They represent the poles of the Puritan party.  Yet
it may admit of a doubt, whether the Puritan epic is, in essentials, as
vital and original a work as the Puritan allegory.  They both came out
quietly and made little noise at first.  But the _Pilgrim's Progress_
got at once {180} into circulation, and not even a single copy of the
first edition remains.  Milton, too--who received 10 pounds for the
copyright of _Paradise Lost_--seemingly found that "fit audience though
few" for which he prayed, as his poem reached its second impression in
five years (1672).  Dryden visited him in his retirement and asked
leave to turn it into rime and put it on the stage as an opera.  "Ay,"
said Milton, good humoredly, "you may tag my verses."  And accordingly
they appeared, duly tagged, in Dryden's operatic masque, the _State of
Innocence_.  In this startling conjunction we have the two ages in a
nut-shell: the Commonwealth was an epic, the Restoration an opera.

The literary period covered by the life of Pope, 1688-1744, is marked
off by no distinct line from the generation before it.  Taste continued
to be governed by the precepts of Boileau and the French classical
school.  Poetry remained chiefly didactic and satirical, and satire in
Pope's hands was more personal even than in Dryden's, and addressed
itself less to public issues.  The literature of the "Augustan age" of
Queen Anne (1702-1714) was still more a literature of the town and of
fashionable society than that of the Restoration had been.  It was also
closely involved with party struggles of Whig and Tory, and the ablest
pens on either side were taken into alliance by the political leaders.
Swift was in high favor with the Tory ministers, Oxford and
Bolingbroke, and his pamphlets, the _Public Spirit of the Whigs_ and
the {181} _Conduct of the Allies_, were rewarded with the deanery of
St. Patrick's, Dublin.  Addison became Secretary of State under a Whig
government.  Prior was in the diplomatic service.  Daniel De Foe, the
author of _Robinson Crusoe_, 1719, was a prolific political writer,
conducted his _Review_ in the interest of the Whigs and was imprisoned
and pilloried for his ironical pamphlet, _The Shortest Way with the
Dissenters_.  Steele, who was a violent writer on the Whig side, held
various public offices, such as Commissioner of Stamps and Commissioner
for Forfeited Estates, and sat in Parliament.  After the Revolution of
1688 the manners and morals of English society were somewhat on the
mend.  The court of William and Mary, and of their successor, Queen
Anne, set no such example of open profligacy as that of Charles II.
But there was much hard drinking, gambling, dueling, and intrigue in
London, and vice was fashionable till Addison partly preached and
partly laughed it down in the _Spectator_.  The women were mostly
frivolous and uneducated, and not unfrequently fast.  They are spoken
of with systematic disrespect by nearly every writer of the time,
except Steele.  "Every woman," wrote Pope, "is at heart a rake."  The
reading public had now become large enough to make letters a
profession.  Dr. Johnson said that Pope was the first writer in whose
case the book-seller took the place of the patron.  His translation of
Homer, published by subscription, brought him between eight and nine
thousand {182} pounds and made him independent.  But the activity of
the press produced a swarm of poorly-paid hack-writers, penny-a-liners,
who lived from hand to mouth and did small literary jobs to order.
Many of these inhabited Grub Street, and their lampoons against Pope
and others of their more successful rivals called out Pope's _Dunciad_,
or epic of the dunces, by way of retaliation.  The politics of the time
were sordid and consisted mainly of an ignoble scramble for office.
The Whigs were fighting to maintain the Act of Succession in favor of
the House of Hanover, and the Tories were secretly intriguing with the
exiled Stuarts.  Many of the leaders, such as the great Whig champion,
John Churchill, Duke of Marlborough, were without political principle
or even personal honesty.  The Church, too, was in a condition of
spiritual deadness.  Bishoprics and livings were sold and given to
political favorites.  Clergymen, like Swift and Lawrence Sterne, were
worldly in their lives and immoral in their writings, and were
practically unbelievers.  The growing religious skepticism appeared in
the Deist controversy.  Numbers of men in high position were Deists;
the Earl of Shaftesbury, for example, and Pope's brilliant friend,
Henry St. John, Lord Bolingbroke, the head of the Tory ministry, whose
political writings had much influence upon his young French
acquaintance, Voltaire.  Pope was a Roman Catholic, though there is
little to show it in his writings, and the underlying thought of his
famous _Essay {183} on Man_ was furnished him by Bolingbroke.  The
letters of the cold-hearted Chesterfield to his son were accepted as a
manual of conduct, and La Rochefoucauld's cynical maxims were quoted as
authority on life and human nature.  Said Swift:

  "As Rochefoucauld his maxims drew
  From nature, I believe them true.
  They argue no corrupted mind
  In him; the fault is in mankind."

The succession which Dryden had willed to Congreve was taken up by
Alexander Pope.  He was a man quite unlike Dryden, sickly, deformed,
morbidly precocious, and spiteful; nevertheless he joined on to and
continued Dryden.  He was more careful in his literary workmanship than
his great forerunner, and in his _Moral Essays_ and _Satires_ he
brought the Horatian epistle in verse, the formal satire and that
species of didactic poem of which Boileau had given the first example,
to an exquisite perfection of finish and verbal art.  Dryden had
translated Vergil, and so Pope translated Homer.  The throne of the
dunces, which Dryden had conferred upon Shadwell, Pope, in his
_Dunciad_, passed on to two of his own literary foes, Theobald and
Colley Cibber.  There is a great waste of strength in this elaborate
squib, and most of the petty writers, whose names it has preserved, as
has been said, like flies in amber, are now quite unknown.  But,
although we have to read it with notes, to get the point of its
allusions, it is easy to {184} see what execution it must have done at
the time, and it is impossible to withhold admiration from the wit, the
wickedness, the triumphant mischief of the thing.  The sketch of
Addison--who had offended Pope by praising a rival translation of
Homer--as "Atticus," is as brilliant as any thing of the kind in
Dryden.  Pope's very malignity made his sting sharper than Dryden's.
He secreted venom, and worked out his revenges deliberately, bringing
all the resources of his art to bear upon the question of how to give
the most pain most cleverly.

Pope's masterpiece is, perhaps, the _Rape of the Lock_, a mock heroic
poem, a "dwarf Iliad," recounting, in five cantos, a society quarrel,
which arose from Lord Petre's cutting a lock of hair from the head of
Mrs. Arabella Fermor.  Boileau, in his _Lutrin_, had treated, with the
same epic dignity, a dispute over the placing of the reading desk in a
parish church.  Pope was the Homer of the drawing-room, the boudoir,
the tea-urn, the omber-party, the sedan-chair, the parrot cage, and the
lap-dogs.  This poem, in its sparkle and airy grace, is the topmost
blossom of a highly artificial society, the quintessence of whatever
poetry was possible in those

  "Teacup times of hood and hoop,
  And when the patch was worn,"

with whose decorative features, at least, the recent Queen Anne revival
has made this generation familiar.  It may be said of it, as Thackeray
said of {185} Gay's pastorals: "It is to poetry what charming little
Dresden china figures are to sculpture, graceful, minikin, fantastic,
with a certain beauty always accompanying them."  The _Rape of the
Lock_, perhaps, stops short of beauty, but it attains elegance and
prettiness in a supreme degree.  In imitation of the gods and goddesses
in the Iliad, who intermeddle for or against the human characters, Pope
introduced the Sylphs of the Rosicrucian philosophy.  We may measure
the distance between imagination and fancy, if we will compare these
little filagree creatures with Shakspere's elves, whose occupation it

  "To tread the ooze of the salt deep,
  Or run upon the sharp wind of the north, . . .
  Or on the beached margent of the sea,
  To dance their ringlets to the whispering wind."

Very different were the offices of Pope's fays:

  "Our humble province is to tend the fair;
  Not a less pleasing, though less glorious, care;
  To save the powder from too rude a gale,
  Nor let the imprisoned essences exhale. . . .
  Nay oft in dreams invention we bestow
  To change a flounce or add a furbelow."

Pope was not a great poet; it has been doubted whether he was a poet at
all.  He does not touch the heart, or stimulate the imagination, as the
true poet always does.  In the poetry of nature, and the poetry of
passion, he was altogether impotent.  {186} His _Windsor Forest_ and
his _Pastorals_ are artificial and false, not written with "the eye
upon the object."  His epistle of _Eloisa to Abelard_ is declamatory
and academic, and leaves the reader cold.  The only one of his poems
which is at all possessed with feeling is his pathetic _Elegy to the
Memory of an Unfortunate Lady_.  But he was a great literary artist.
Within the cramped and starched regularity of the heroic couplet, which
the fashion of the time and his own habit of mind imposed upon him, he
secured the largest variety of modulation and emphasis of which that
verse was capable.  He used antithesis, periphrasis, and climax with
great skill.  His example dominated English poetry for nearly a
century, and even now, when a poet like Dr. Holmes, for example, would
write satire or humorous verse of a dignified kind, he turns
instinctively to the measure and manner of Pope.  He was not a
consecutive thinker, like Dryden, and cared less about the truth of his
thought than about the pointedness of its expression.  His language was
closer-grained than Dryden's.  His great art was the art of putting
things.  He is more quoted than any other English poet, but Shakspere.
He struck the average intelligence, the common sense of English
readers, and furnished it with neat, portable formulas, so that it no
longer needed to "vent its observation in mangled terms," but could
pour itself out compactly, artistically, in little, ready-made molds.
But his high-wrought brilliancy, this unceasing point, soon fatigue.
His {187} poems read like a series of epigrams; and every line has a
hit or an effect.

From the reign of Queen Anne date the beginnings of the periodical
essay.  Newspapers had been published since the time of the Civil War;
at first irregularly, and then regularly.  But no literature of
permanent value appeared in periodical form until Richard Steele
started the _Tatler_, in 1709.  In this he was soon joined by his
friend, Joseph Addison and in its successor the _Spectator_, the first
number of which was issued March 1, 1711, Addison's contributions
outnumbered Steele's.  The _Tatler_ was published on three, the
_Spectator_ on six, days of the week.  The _Tatler_ gave political
news, but each number of the _Spectator_ consisted of a single essay.
The object of these periodicals was to reflect the passing humors of
the time, and to satirize the follies and minor immoralities of the
town.  "I shall endeavor," wrote Addison, in the tenth paper of the
_Spectator_, "to enliven morality with wit, and to temper wit with
morality. . . .  It was said of Socrates that he brought Philosophy
down from Heaven to inhabit among men; and I shall be ambitious to have
it said of me that I have brought Philosophy out of closets and
libraries, schools and colleges, to dwell in clubs and assemblies, at
tea-tables and in coffee-houses."  Addison's satire was never personal.
He was a moderate man, and did what he could to restrain Steele's
intemperate party zeal.  His character was dignified and pure, and his
strongest emotion seems to have {188} been his religious feeling.  One
of his contemporaries called him "a parson in a tie wig," and he wrote
several excellent hymns.  His mission was that of censor of the public
taste.  Sometimes he lectures and sometimes he preaches, and in his
Saturday papers, he brought his wide reading and nice scholarship into
service for the instruction of his readers.  Such was the series of
essays, in which he gave an elaborate review of _Paradise Lost_.  Such
also was his famous paper, the _Vision of Mirza_, an oriental allegory
of human life.  The adoption of this slightly pedagogic tone was
justified by the prevalent ignorance and frivolity of the age.  But the
lighter portions of the _Spectator_ are those which have worn the best.
Their style is at once correct and easy, and it is as a humorist, a sly
observer of manners, and above all, a delightful talker, that Addison
is best known to posterity.  In the personal sketches of the members of
the Spectator Club, of Will Honeycomb, Captain Sentry, Sir Andrew
Freeport, and, above all, Sir Roger de Coverley, the quaint and honest
country gentleman, may be found the nucleus of the modern prose fiction
of character.  Addison's humor is always a trifle grave.  There is no
whimsy, no frolic in it, as in Sterne or Lamb.  "He thinks justly,"
said Dr. Johnson, "but he thinks faintly."  The _Spectator_ had a host
of followers, from the somewhat heavy _Rambler_ and _Idler_ of Johnson,
down to the _Salmagundi_ papers of our own Irving, who was, perhaps,
Addison's latest and {189} best literary descendant.  In his own age
Addison made some figure as a poet and dramatist.  His _Campaign_,
celebrating the victory of Blenheim, had one much-admired couplet, in
which Marlborough was likened to the angel of tempest, who

  "Pleased the Almighty's orders to perform,
  Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm."

His stately, classical tragedy, _Cato_, which was acted at Drury Lane
Theater in 1712, with immense applause, was pronounced by Dr. Johnson
"unquestionably the noblest production of Addison's genius."  It is,
notwithstanding, cold and tedious, as a whole, though it has some fine
declamatory passages--in particular the soliloquy of Cato in the fifth

  "It must be so: Plato, thou reasonest well," etc.

The greatest of the Queen Anne wits, and one of the most savage and
powerful satirists that ever lived, was Jonathan Swift.  As secretary
in the family of Sir William Temple, and domestic chaplain to the Earl
of Berkeley, he had known in youth the bitterness of poverty and
dependence.  Afterward he wrote himself into influence with the Tory
ministry, and was promised a bishopric, but was put off with the
deanery of St. Patrick's, and retired to Ireland to "die like a
poisoned rat in a hole."  His life was made tragical by the forecast of
the madness which finally overtook him.  "The stage darkened," said
Scott, "ere the curtain fell."  Insanity {190} deepened into idiocy and
a hideous silence, and for three years before his death he spoke hardly
ever a word.  He had directed that his tombstone should bear the
inscription, _Ubi saeva indignatio cor ulterius lacerare nequit_.  "So
great a man he seems to me," wrote Thackeray, "that thinking of him is
like thinking of an empire falling."  Swift's first noteworthy
publication was his _Tale of a Tub_, 1704, a satire on religious
differences.  But his great work was _Gulliver's Travels_, 1726, the
book in which his hate and scorn of mankind, and the long rage of
mortified pride and thwarted ambition found their fullest expression.
Children read the voyages to Lilliput and Brobdingnag, to the flying
island of Laputa and the country of the Houyhnhnms, as they read
_Robinson Crusoe_, as stories of wonderful adventure.  Swift had all of
De Foe's realism, his power of giving veri-similitude to his narrative
by the invention of a vast number of small, exact, consistent details.
But underneath its fairy tales, _Gulliver's Travels_ is a satire, far
more radical than any of Dryden's or Pope's, because directed, not
against particular parties or persons, but against human nature.  In
his account of Lilliput and Brobdingnag, Swift tries to show--looking
first through one end of the telescope and then through the other--that
human greatness, goodness, beauty disappear if the scale be altered a
little.  If men were six inches high instead of six feet--such is the
logic of his tale--their wars, governments, science, religion--all
their institutions, {191} in fine, and all the courage, wisdom, and
virtue by which these have been built up, would appear laughable.  On
the other hand, if they were sixty feet high instead of six, they would
become disgusting.  The complexion of the finest ladies would show
blotches, hairs, excrescences, and an overpowering effluvium would
breathe from the pores of the skin.  Finally, in his loathsome
caricature of mankind, as Yahoos, he contrasts them to their shame with
the beasts, and sets instinct above reason.

The method of Swift's satire was grave irony.  Among his minor writings
in this kind are his _Argument against Abolishing Christianity_, his
_Modest Proposal_ for utilizing the surplus population of Ireland by
eating the babies of the poor, and his _Predictions of Isaac
Bickerstaff_.  In the last he predicted the death of one Partridge, an
almanac maker, at a certain day and hour.  When the time set was past,
he published a minute account of Partridge's last moments; and when the
subject of this excellent fooling printed an indignant denial of his
own death, Swift answered very temperately, proving that he was dead
and remonstrating with him on the violence of his language.  "To call a
man a fool and villain, an impudent fellow, only for differing from him
in a point merely speculative, is, in my humble opinion, a very
improper style for a person of his education."  Swift wrote verses as
well as prose, but their motive was the reverse of poetical.  His gross
and cynical humor vulgarized whatever it touched.  He leaves us no
illusions, {192} and not only strips his subject, but flays it and
shows the raw muscles beneath the skin.  He delighted to dwell upon the
lowest bodily functions of human nature.  "He saw bloodshot," said

1. Macaulay's Essay, The Comic Dramatists of the Restoration.

2. The Poetical Works of John Dryden.  Globe Edition.  Macmillan & Co.

3. Thackeray's English Humorists of the Last Century.

4. Sir Roger de Coverley.  New York: Harper, 1878.

5. Swift's Tale of a Tub, Gulliver's Travels, Directions to Servants,
Polite Conversation, The Great Question Debated, Verses on the Death of
Dean Swift.

6. The Poetical Works of Alexander Pope.  Globe Edition.  Macmillan &





Pope's example continued potent for fifty years after his death.
Especially was this so in satiric and didactic poetry.  Not only Dr.
Johnson's adaptations from _Juvenal_, London, 1738, and the _Vanity of
Human Wishes_, 1749, but Gifford's _Baviad_, 1791, and _Maeviad_, 1795,
and Byron's _English Bards and Scotch Reviewers_, 1809, were in the
verse and manner of Pope.  In Johnson's _Lives of the Poets_, 1781,
Dryden and Pope are treated as the two greatest English poets.  But
long before this a revolution in literary taste had begun, a movement
which is variously described as The Return to Nature, or The Rise of
the New Romantic School.

For nearly a hundred years poetry had dealt with manners and the life
of towns, the gay, prosaic life of Congreve or of Pope.  The sole
concession to the life of nature was the old pastoral, which, in the
hands of cockneys, like Pope and Ambrose Philips, who merely repeated
stock descriptions at second or third hand, became even more artificial
than a _Beggar's Opera_ or a _Rape of the {194} Lock_.  These, at
least, were true to their environment, and were natural, just _because_
they were artificial.  But the _Seasons_ of James Thomson, published in
installments from 1726-30, had opened a new field.  Their theme was the
English landscape, as varied by the changes of the year, and they were
written by a true lover and observer of nature.  Mark Akenside's
_Pleasures of Imagination_, 1744, published the year of Pope's death,
was written like the _Seasons_, in blank verse; and although its
language had much of the formal, didactic cast of the Queen Anne poets,
it pointed unmistakably in the new direction.  Thomson had painted the
soft beauties of a highly cultivated land--lawns, gardens,
forest-preserves, orchards, and sheep-walks.  But now a fresh note was
struck in the literature, not of England alone, but of Germany and
France--romanticism, the chief element in which was a love of the wild.
Poets turned from the lameness of modern existence to savage nature and
the heroic simplicity of life among primitive tribes.  In France,
Rousseau introduced the idea of the natural man, following his
instincts in disregard of social conventions.  In Germany Bodmer
published, in 1753, the first edition of the old German epic, the
_Nibelungen Lied_.  Works of a similar tendency in England were the
odes of William Collins and Thomas Gray, published between 1747-57,
especially Collins's _Ode on the Superstitions of the Highlands_, and
Gray's _Bard_, a pindaric, in which the last survivor of the Welsh
bards invokes vengeance on {195} Edward I., the destroyer of his guild.
Gray and Mason, his friend and editor, made translations from the
ancient Welsh and Norse poetry.  Thomas Percy's _Reliques of Ancient
English Poetry_, 1765, aroused a taste for old ballads.  Richard Hurd's
_Letters on Chivalry and Romance_, Thomas Warton's _History of English
Poetry_, 1774-78, Tyrwhitt's critical edition of Chaucer, and Horace
Walpole's Gothic romance, the _Castle of Otranto_, 1765, stimulated
this awakened interest in the picturesque aspects of feudal life, and
contributed to the fondness for supernatural and mediaeval subjects.
James Beattie's _Minstrel_, 1771, described the educating influence of
Scottish mountain scenery upon the genius of a young poet.  But the
most remarkable instances of this passion for wild nature and the
romantic past were the _Poems of Ossian_ and Thomas Chatterton's
literary forgeries.

In 1762 James Macpherson published the first installment of what
professed to be a translation of the poems of Ossian, a Gaelic bard,
whom tradition placed in the 3d century.  Macpherson said that he made
his version--including two complete epics, _Fingal_ and _Temora_, from
Gaelic MSS., which he had collected in the Scottish Highlands.  A
fierce controversy at once sprang up over the genuineness of these
remains.  Macpherson was challenged to produce his originals, and when,
many years after, he published the Gaelic text, it was asserted that
this was nothing but a translation of his own English into modern
Gaelic.  Of {196} the MSS. which he professed to have found not a scrap
remained: the Gaelic text was printed from transcriptions in
Macpherson's handwriting or in that of his secretaries.

But whether these poems were the work of Ossian or of Macpherson, they
made a deep impression upon the time.  Napoleon admired them greatly,
and Goethe inserted passages from the "Songs of Selma" in his _Sorrows
of Werther_.  Macpherson composed--or translated--them in an abrupt,
rhapsodical prose, resembling the English version of Job or of the
prophecies of Isaiah.  They filled the minds of their readers with
images of vague sublimity and desolation; the mountain torrent, the
mist on the hills, the ghosts of heroes half seen by the setting moon,
the thistle in the ruined courts of chieftains, the grass whistling on
the windy heath, the gray rock by the blue stream of Lutha, and the
cliffs of sea-surrounded Gormal.

"A tale of the times of old!"

"Why, thou wanderer unseen!  Thou bender of the thistle of Lora; why,
thou breeze of the valley, hast thou left mine ear?  I hear no distant
roar of streams!  No sound of the harp from the rock!  Come, thou
huntress of Lutha, Malvina, call back his soul to the bard.  I look
forward to Lochlin of lakes, to the dark billowy bay of U-thorno, where
Fingal descends from Ocean, from the roar of winds.  Few are the heroes
of Morven in a land unknown."

Thomas Chatterton, who died by his own hand {197} in 1770, at the age
of seventeen, is one of the most wonderful examples of precocity in the
history of literature.  His father had been sexton of the ancient
Church of St. Mary Redcliff, in Bristol, and the boy's sensitive
imagination took the stamp of his surroundings.  He taught himself to
read from a black-letter Bible.  He drew charcoal sketches of churches,
castles, knightly tombs, and heraldic blazonry.  When only eleven years
old, he began the fabrication of documents in prose and verse, which he
ascribed to a fictitious Thomas Rowley, a secular priest at Bristol in
the 15th century.  Chatterton pretended to have found these among the
contents of an old chest in the muniment room of St. Mary Redcliff's.
The Rowley poems included two tragedies, _Aella_ and _Goddwyn_, two
cantos of a long poem on the _Battle of Hastings_, and a number of
ballads and minor pieces.  Chatterton had no precise knowledge of early
English, or even of Chaucer.  His method of working was as follows: He
made himself a manuscript glossary of the words marked as archaic in
Bailey's and Kersey's English dictionaries, composed his poems first in
modern language, and then turned them into ancient spelling, and
substituted here and there the old words in his glossary for their
modern equivalents.  Naturally he made many mistakes, and though Horace
Walpole, to whom he sent some of his pieces, was unable to detect the
forgery, his friends, Gray and Mason, to whom he submitted them, at
once pronounced them {198} spurious.  Nevertheless there was a
controversy over Rowley, hardly less obstinate than that over Ossian, a
controversy made possible only by the then almost universal ignorance
of the forms, scansion, and vocabulary of early English poetry.
Chatterton's poems are of little value in themselves, but they are the
record of an industry and imitative quickness, marvelous in a mere
child, and they show how, with the instinct of genius, he threw himself
into the main literary current of his time.  Discarding the couplet of
Pope, the poets now went back for models to the Elisabethan writers.
Thomas Warton published, in 1753, his _Observations on the Faerie
Queene_.  Beattie's _Minstrel_, Thomson's _Castle of Indolence_,
William Shenstone's _Schoolmistress_, and John Dyer's _Fleece_, were
all written in the Spenserian stanza.  Shenstone gave a partly humorous
effect to his poem by imitating Spenser's archaisms, and Thomson
reproduced in many passages the copious harmony and luxuriant imagery
of the _Faerie Queene_.  The _Fleece_ was a poem on English
wool-growing, after the fashion of Vergil's _Georgics_.  The subject
was unfortunate, for, as Dr. Johnson said, it is impossible to make
poetry out of serges and druggets.  Dyer's _Grongar Hill_, which
mingles reflection with natural description in the manner of Gray's
_Elegy written in a Country Churchyard_, was composed in the
octosyllabic verse of Milton's _L'Allegro_ and _Il Penseroso_.
Milton's minor poems, which had hitherto been neglected, {199}
exercised a great influence on Collins and Gray.  Collins's _Ode to
Simplicity_ was written in the stanza of Milton's _Nativity_, and his
exquisite unrimed _Ode to Evening_ was a study in versification, after
Milton's translation of Horace's _Ode to Pyrrha_, in the original
meters.  Shakspere began to to be studied more reverently: numerous
critical editions of his plays were issued, and Garrick restored his
pure text to the stage.  Collins was an enthusiastic student of
Shakspere, and one of his sweetest poems, the _Dirge in Cymbeline_, was
inspired by the tragedy of _Cymbeline_.  The verse of Gray, Collins,
and the Warton brothers, abounds in verbal reminiscences of Shakspere;
but their genius was not allied to his, being exclusively lyrical, and
not at all dramatic.  The Muse of this romantic school was Fancy rather
than Passion.  A thoughtful melancholy, a gentle, scholarly
pensiveness, the spirit of Milton's _Il Penseroso_, pervades their
poetry.  Gray was a fastidious scholar, who produced very little, but
that little of the finest quality.  His famous _Elegy_, expressing a
meditative mood in language of the choicest perfection, is the
representative poem of the second half of the 18th century, as the
_Rape of the Lock_ is of the first.  The romanticists were quietists,
and their scenery is characteristic.  They loved solitude and evening,
the twilight vale, the mossy hermitage, ruins, glens, and caves.  Their
style was elegant and academic, retaining a little of the stilted
poetic diction of their classical {200} forerunners.  Personification
and periphrasis were their favorite mannerisms: Collins's Odes were
largely addressed to abstractions, such as Fear, Pity, Liberty, Mercy,
and Simplicity.  A poet in their dialect was always a "bard;" a
countryman was "the untutored swain," and a woman was a "nymph" or "the
fair," just as in Dryden and Pope.  Thomson is perpetually mindful of
Vergil, and afraid to speak simply.  He uses too many Latin epithets,
like _amusive_ and _precipitant_, and calls a fish-line

  "The floating line snatched from the hoary steed."

They left much for Cowper and Wordsworth to do in the way of infusing
the new blood of a strong, racy English into our exhausted poetic
diction.  Their poetry is impersonal, bookish, literary.  It lacks
emotional force, except now and then in Gray's immortal _Elegy_, in his
_Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College_, in Collins's lines, _On
the Death of Thomson_, and his little ode beginning, "How sleep the

The new school did not lack critical expounders of its principles and
practice.  Joseph Warton published, in 1756, the first volume of his
_Essay on the Genius and Writings of Pope_, an elaborate review of
Pope's writings _seriatim_, doing him certainly full justice, but
ranking him below Shakspere, Spenser, and Milton.  "Wit and satire,"
wrote Warton, "are transitory and perishable, but nature and passion
are eternal. . . .  He stuck to {201} describing modern manners; but
those manners, because they are familiar, artificial, and polished,
are, in their very nature, unfit for any lofty effort of the Muse.
Whatever poetical enthusiasm he actually possessed he withheld and
stifled.  Surely it is no narrow and niggardly encomium to say, he is
the great Poet of Reason, the first of Ethical authors in verse."
Warton illustrated his critical positions by quoting freely not only
from Spenser and Milton, but from recent poets, like Thomson, Gray,
Collins, and Dyer.  He testified that the Seasons had "been very
instrumental in diffusing a general taste for the beauties of nature
and landscape."  It was symptomatic of the change in literary taste
that the natural or English school of landscape gardening now began to
displace the French and Dutch fashion of clipped hedges, regular
parterres, etc., and that Gothic architecture came into repute.  Horace
Walpole was a virtuoso in Gothic art, and in his castle, at Strawberry
Hill, he made a collection of ancient armor, illuminated MSS., and
bric-a-brac of all kinds.  Gray had been Walpole's traveling companion
in France and Italy, and the two had quarreled and separated, but were
afterward reconciled.  From Walpole's private  printing-press, at
Strawberry Hill, Gray's two "sister odes," the _Bard_ and the _Progress
of Poesy_, were first printed, in 1757.  Both Gray and Walpole were
good correspondents, and their printed letters are among the most
delightful literature of the kind.

{202} The central figure among the English men of letters of that
generation was Samuel Johnson (1709-84), whose memory has been
preserved less by his own writings than by James Boswell's famous _Life
of Johnson_, published in 1791.  Boswell was a Scotch laird and
advocate, who first met Johnson in London, when the latter was
fifty-four years old.  Boswell was not a very wise or witty person, but
he reverenced the worth and intellect which shone through his subject's
uncouth exterior.  He followed him about, note-book in hand, bore all
his snubbings patiently, and made the best biography ever written.  It
is related that the doctor once said that if he thought Boswell meant
to write _his_ life, he should prevent it by taking _Boswell's_.  And
yet Johnson's own writings and this biography of him have changed
places in relative importance so completely, that Carlyle predicted
that the former would soon be reduced to notes on the latter; and
Macaulay said that the man who was known to his contemporaries as a
great writer was known to posterity as an agreeable companion.

Johnson was one of those rugged, eccentric, self-developed characters,
so common among the English.  He was the son of a Lichfield
book-seller, and after a course at Oxford, which was cut short by
poverty, and an unsuccessful career as a school-master, he had come up
to London, in 1737, where he supported himself for many years as a
book-seller's hack.  Gradually his great learning {203} and abilities,
his ready social wit and powers as a talker, caused his company to be
sought at the tables of those whom he called "the great."  He was a
clubbable man, and he drew about him at the tavern a group of the most
distinguished intellects of the time, Edmund Burke, the orator and
statesman, Oliver Goldsmith, Sir Joshua Reynolds, the portrait painter,
and David Garrick, the great actor, who had been a pupil in Johnson's
school, near Lichfield.  Johnson was the typical John Bull of the last
century.  His oddities, virtues, and prejudices were thoroughly
English.  He hated Frenchmen, Scotchmen, and Americans, and had a
cockneyish attachment to London.  He was a high Tory, and an orthodox
churchman; he loved a lord in the abstract, and yet he asserted a
sturdy independence against any lord in particular.  He was deeply
religious, but had an abiding fear of death.  He was burly in person,
and slovenly in dress, his shirt-frill always covered with snuff.  He
was a great diner out, an inordinate tea-drinker, and a voracious and
untidy feeder.  An inherited scrofula, which often took the form of
hypochondria and threatened to affect his brain, deprived him of
control over the muscles of his face.  Boswell describes how his
features worked, how he snorted, grunted, whistled, and rolled about in
his chair when getting ready to speak.  He records his minutest traits,
such as his habit of pocketing the orange peels at the club, and his
superstitious way of {204} touching all the posts between his house and
the Mitre Tavern, going back to do it, if he skipped one by chance.
Though bearish in his manners and arrogant in dispute, especially when
talking "for victory," Johnson had a large and tender heart.  He loved
his ugly, old wife--twenty-one years his senior--and he had his house
full of unfortunates--a blind woman, an invalid surgeon, a destitute
widow, a negro servant--whom he supported for many years, and bore with
all their ill-humors patiently.

Among Johnson's numerous writings the ones best entitled to remembrance
are, perhaps, his _Dictionary of the English Language_, 1755; his moral
tale, _Rasselas_, 1759; the introduction to his _Edition of Shakspere_,
1765; and his _Lives of the Poets_, 1781.  Johnson wrote a sonorous,
cadenced prose, full of big Latin words and balanced clauses.  Here is
a sentence, for example, from his _Visit to the Hebrides_: "We were now
treading that illustrious island which was once the luminary of the
Caledonian regions, whence savage clans and roving barbarians derived
the benefits of knowledge and the blessings of religion.  To abstract
the mind from all local emotion would be impossible, if it were
endeavored, and would be foolish, if it were possible."  The difference
between his colloquial style and his book style is well illustrated in
the instance cited by Macaulay.  Speaking of Villier's _Rehearsal_,
Johnson said, "It has not wit enough to keep it sweet;" then paused and
{205} added--translating English into Johnsonese--"it has not vitality
sufficient to preserve it from putrefaction."  There is more of this in
Johnson's _Rambler_ and _Idler papers_ than in his latest work, the
_Lives of the Poets_.  In this he showed himself a sound and judicious
critic, though with decided limitations.  His understanding was solid,
but he was a thorough classicist, and his taste in poetry was formed on
Pope.  He was unjust to Milton and to his own contemporaries, Gray,
Collins, Shenstone, and Dyer.  He had no sense of the higher and
subtler graces of romantic poetry, and he had a comical indifference to
the "beauties of nature."  When Boswell once ventured to remark that
poor Scotland had, at least, some "noble, wild prospects," the doctor
replied that the noblest prospect a Scotchman ever saw was the road
that led to London.

The English novel of real life had its origin at this time.  Books like
De Foe's _Robinson Crusoe_, _Captain Singleton_, _Journal of the
Plague_, etc., were tales of incident and adventure rather than novels.
The novel deals primarily with character and with the interaction of
characters upon one another, as developed by a regular plot.  The first
English novelist, in the modern sense of the word, was Samuel
Richardson, a printer, who began authorship in his fiftieth year with
his _Pamela_, the story of a young servant girl, who resisted the
seductions of her master, and finally, as the reward of her virtue,
became his wife.  _Clarissa Harlowe_, {206} 1748, was the tragical
history of a high spirited young lady, who being driven from home by
her family, because she refused to marry the suitor selected for her,
fell into the toils of Lovelace, an accomplished rake.  After
struggling heroically against every form of artifice and violence, she
was at last drugged and ruined.  She died of a broken heart, and
Lovelace, borne down by remorse, was killed in a duel by a cousin of
Clarissa.  Sir _Charles Grandison_, 1753, was Richardson's portrait of
an ideal fine gentleman, whose stately doings fill eight volumes, but
who seems to the modern reader a bore and a prig.  All of these novels
were written in the form of letters passing between the characters, a
method which fitted Richardson's subjective cast of mind.  He knew
little of life, but he identified himself intensely with his principal
character and produced a strong effect by minute, accumulated touches.
_Clarissa Harlowe_ is his masterpiece, though even in that the
situation is painfully prolonged, the heroine's virtue is
self-conscious and rhetorical, and there is something almost
ludicrously unnatural in the copiousness with which she pours herself
out in gushing epistles to her female correspondent at the very moment
when she is beset with dangers, persecuted, agonized, and driven nearly
mad.  In Richardson's novels appears, for the first time, that
sentimentalism which now began to infect European literature.  _Pamela_
was translated into French and German, and fell in with that current
{207} of popular feeling which found fullest expression in Rousseau's
_Nouvelle Heloise_, 1759, and Goethe's _Leiden des Jungen Werther_,
which set all the world a-weeping in 1774.

Coleridge said that to pass from Richardson's books to those of Henry
Fielding was like going into the fresh air from a close room heated by
stoves.  Richardson, it has been affirmed, knew _man_, but Fielding
knew _men_.  The latter's first novel, _Joseph Andrews_, 1742, was
begun as a travesty of _Pamela_.  The hero, a brother of Pamela, was a
young footman in the employ of Lady Booby, from whom his virtue
suffered a like assault to that made upon Pamela's by her master.  This
reversal of the natural situation was in itself full of laughable
possibilities, had the book gone on simply as a burlesque.  But the
exuberance of Fielding's genius led him beyond his original design.
This hero, leaving Lady Booby's service, goes traveling with good
Parson Adams, and is soon engaged in a series of comical and rather
boisterous adventures.

Fielding had seen life, and his characters were painted from the life
with a bold, free hand.  He was a gentleman by birth, and had made
acquaintance with society and the town in 1727, when he was a handsome,
stalwart young fellow, with high animal spirits and a great appetite
for pleasure.  He soon ran himself into debt and began writing for the
stage; married, and spent his wife's fortune, living for awhile in much
splendor as a {208} country gentleman, and afterward in a reduced
condition as a rural justice with a salary of 500 pounds of "the
dirtiest money on earth."  Fielding's masterpiece was _Tom Jones_,
1749, and it remains one of the best of English novels.  Its hero is
very much after Fielding's own heart, wild, spendthrift, warm-hearted,
forgiving, and greatly in need of forgiveness.  The same type of
character, with the lines deepened, re-appears in Captain Booth, in
_Amelia_, 1751, the heroine of which is a portrait of Fielding's wife.
With Tom Jones is contrasted Blifil, the embodiment of meanness,
hypocrisy, and cowardice.  Sophia Western, the heroine, is one of
Fielding's most admirable creations.  For the regulated morality of
Richardson, with its somewhat old-grannified air, Fielding substituted
instinct.  His virtuous characters are virtuous by impulse only, and
his ideal of character is manliness.  In _Jonathan Wild_ the hero is a
highwayman.  This novel is ironical, a sort of prose mock-heroic, and
is one of the strongest, though certainly the least pleasing, of
Fielding's writings.

Tobias Smollett was an inferior Fielding with a difference.  He was a
Scotch ship-surgeon and had spent some time in the West Indies.  He
introduced into fiction the now familiar figure of the British tar, in
the persons of Tom Bowling and Commodore Trunnion, as Fielding had
introduced, in Squire Western, the equally national type of the
hard-swearing, deep-drinking, fox-hunting Tory squire.  Both Fielding
and Smollett were of the {209} hearty British "beef-and-beer" school;
their novels are downright, energetic, coarse, and high-blooded; low
life, physical life, runs riot through their pages--tavern brawls, the
breaking of pates, and the off-hand courtship of country wenches.
Smollett's books, such as _Roderick Random_, 1748, _Peregrine Pickle_,
1751, and _Ferdinand Count Fathom_, 1752, were more purely stories of
broadly comic adventure than Fielding's.  The latter's view of life was
by no means idyllic; but with Smollett this English realism ran into
vulgarity and a hard Scotch literalness, and character was pushed to
caricature.  "The generous wine of Fielding," says Taine, "in
Smollett's hands becomes brandy of the dram-shop."  A partial exception
to this is to be found in his last and best novel, _Humphrey Clinker_,
1770.  The influence of Cervantes and of the French novelist, Le Sage,
who finished his _Adventures of Gil Blas_ in 1735, are very perceptible
in Smollett.

A genius of much finer mold was Lawrence Sterne, the author of
_Tristram Shandy_, 1759-67, and the _Sentimental Journey_, 1768.
_Tristram Shandy_ is hardly a novel: the story merely serves to hold
together a number of characters, such as Uncle Toby and Corporal Trim,
conceived with rare subtlety and originality.  Sterne's chosen province
was the whimsical, and his great model was Rabelais.  His books are
full of digressions, breaks, surprises, innuendoes, double meanings,
mystifications, and all manner of odd turns.  {210} Coleridge and
Carlyle unite in pronouncing him a great humorist.  Thackeray says that
he was only a great jester.  Humor is the laughter of the heart, and
Sterne's pathos is closely interwoven with his humor.  He was the
foremost of English sentimentalists, and he had that taint of
insincerity which distinguishes sentimentalism from genuine sentiment,
like Goldsmith's, for example.  Sterne, in life, was selfish,
heartless, and untrue.  A clergyman, his worldliness and vanity and the
indecency of his writings were a scandal to the Church, though his
sermons were both witty and affecting.  He enjoyed the titilation of
his own emotions, and he had practiced so long at detecting the latent
pathos that lies in the expression of dumb things and of poor, patient
animals, that he could summon the tear of sensibility at the thought of
a discarded postchaise, a dead donkey, a starling in a cage, or of
Uncle Toby putting a house fly out of the window, and saying, "There is
room enough in the world for thee and me."  It is a high proof of his
cleverness that he generally succeeds in raising the desired feeling in
his readers even from such trivial occasions.  He was a minute
philosopher, his philosophy was kindly, and he taught the delicate art
of making much out of little.  Less coarse than Fielding, he is far
more corrupt.  Fielding goes bluntly to the point; Sterne lingers among
the temptations and suspends the expectation to tease and excite it.
Forbidden fruit had a relish for him, and his pages {211} seduce.  He
is full of good sayings, both tender and witty.  It was Sterne, for
example, who wrote, "God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb."

A very different writer was Oliver Goldsmith, whose _Vicar of
Wakefield_, 1766, was the earliest, and is still one of the best,
novels of domestic and rural life.  The book, like its author, was
thoroughly Irish, full of bulls and inconsistencies.  Very improbable
things happened in it with a cheerful defiance of logic.  But its
characters are true to nature, drawn with an idyllic sweetness and
purity, and with touches of a most loving humor.  Its hero, Dr.
Primrose, was painted after Goldsmith's father, a poor clergyman of the
English Church in Ireland, and the original, likewise, of the country
parson in Goldsmith's _Deserted Village_, 1770, who was "passing rich
on forty pounds a year."  This poem, though written in the fashionable
couplet of Pope, and even containing a few verses contributed by Dr.
Johnson--so that it was not at all in line with the work of the
romanticists--did, perhaps, as much as any thing of Gray or of Collins
to recall English poetry to the simplicity and freshness of country

Except for the comedies of Sheridan and Goldsmith, and, perhaps, a few
other plays, the stage had now utterly declined.  The novel, which is
dramatic in essence, though not in form, began to take its place, and
to represent life, though less intensely, yet more minutely, than the
theater could do.  In the novelists of the 18th century, the life {212}
of the people, as distinguished from "society" or the upper classes,
began to invade literature.

Richardson was distinctly a bourgeois writer, and his
contemporaries--Fielding, Smollett, Sterne, and Goldsmith--ranged over
a wide variety of ranks and conditions.  This is one thing which
distinguishes the literature of the second half of the 18th century
from that of the first, as well as in some degree from that of all
previous centuries.  Among the authors of this generation whose
writings belonged to other departments of thought than pure literature
may be mentioned, in passing, the great historian, Edward Gibbon, whose
_Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_ was published from 1776-88, and
Edmund Burke, whose political speeches and pamphlets possess a true
literary quality.  The romantic poets had addressed the imagination
rather than the heart.  It was reserved for two men--a contrast to one
another in almost every respect--to bring once more into British song a
strong individual feeling, and with it a new warmth and directness of
speech.  These were William Cowper (1731-1800) and Robert Burns
(1759-96).  Cowper spoke out of his own life experience, his agony, his
love, his worship and despair; and straightway the varnish that had
glittered over all our poetry since the time of Dryden melted away.
Cowper had scribbled verses when he was a young law student at the
Middle Temple in London, and he had contributed to the _Olney Hymns_,
published in 1779 by his friend and pastor, the Rev. John Newton; but
{213} he only began to write poetry in earnest when he was nearly fifty
years old.  In 1782, the date of his first volume, he said, in a letter
to a friend, that he had read but one English poet during the past
twenty years.  Perhaps, therefore, of all English poets of equal
culture, Cowper owed the least impulse to books and the most to the
need of uttering his inmost thoughts and feelings.  Cowper had a most
unhappy life.  As a child, he was shy, sensitive, and sickly, and
suffered much from bullying and fagging at a school whither he was sent
after his mother's death.  This happened when he was six years old; and
in his affecting lines written _On Receipt of My Mother's Picture_, he
speaks of himself as a

  "Wretch even then, life's journey just begun."

In 1763 he became insane and was sent to an asylum, where he spent a
year.  Judicious treatment restored him to sanity, but he came out a
broken man and remained for the rest of his life an invalid, unfitted
for any active occupation.  His disease took the form of religious
melancholy.  He had two recurrences of madness, and both times made
attempts upon his life.  At Huntingdon, and afterward at Olney, in
Buckinghamshire, he found a home with the Unwin family, whose kindness
did all which the most soothing and delicate care could do to heal his
wounded spirit.  His two poems _To Mary Unwin_, together with the lines
on his mother's picture, were almost the first examples of deep {214}
and tender sentiment in the lyrical poetry of the last century.  Cowper
found relief from the black thoughts that beset him only in an ordered
round of quiet household occupations.  He corresponded indefatigably,
took long walks through the neighborhood, read, sang, and conversed
with Mrs. Unwin and his friend, Lady Austin; and amused himself with
carpentry, gardening, and raising pets, especially hares, of which
gentle animals he grew very fond.  All these simple tastes, in which he
found for a time a refuge and a sheltered happiness, are reflected in
his best poem, _The Task_, 1785.  Cowper is the poet of the family
affections, of domestic life, and rural retirement; the laureate of the
fireside, the tea-table, the evening lamp, the garden, the green-house,
and the rabbit-coop.  He draws with elegance and precision a chair, a
clock, a harpsichord, a barometer, a piece of needle-work.  But Cowper
was an out-door as well as an in-door man.  The Olney landscape was
tame, a fat, agricultural region, where the sluggish Ouse wound between
plowed fields and the horizon was bounded by low hills.  Nevertheless
Cowper's natural descriptions are at once more distinct and more
imaginative than Thomson's.  _The Task_ reflects, also, the new
philanthropic spirit, the enthusiasm of humanity, the feeling of the
brotherhood of men to which Rousseau had given expression in France and
which issued in the French Revolution.  In England this was the time of
Wilberforce, the antislavery agitator; of Whitefield, the eloquent
revival preacher; {215} of John and Charles Wesley, and of the
Evangelical and Methodist movements which gave new life to the English
Church.  John Newton, the curate of Olney and the keeper of Cowper's
conscience, was one of the leaders of the Evangelicals; and Cowper's
first volume of _Table Talk_ and other poems, 1782, written under
Newton's inspiration, was a series of sermons in verse, somewhat
intolerant of all worldly enjoyments, such as hunting, dancing, and
theaters.  "God made the country and man made the town," he wrote.  He
was a moralizing poet, and his morality was sometimes that of the
invalid and the recluse.  Byron called him a "coddled poet."  And,
indeed, there is a suspicion of gruel and dressing-gowns about him.  He
lived much among women, and his sufferings had refined him to a
feminine delicacy.  But there is no sickliness in his poetry, and he
retained a charming playful humor--displayed in his excellent comic
ballad, _John Gilpin_; and Mrs. Browning has sung of him,

  "How when one by one sweet sounds and wandering lights departed
  He bore no less a loving face, because so broken-hearted."

At the close of the year 1786 a young Scotchman, named Samuel Rose,
called upon Cowper at Olney, and left with him a small volume, which
had appeared at Edinburgh during the past summer, entitled _Poems
chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, by Robert Burns_.  Cowper read the
book through {216} twice, and, though somewhat bothered by the dialect,
pronounced it a "very extraordinary production."  This momentary flash,
as of an electric spark, marks the contact not only of the two chief
British poets of their generation, but of two literatures.  Scotch
poets, like Thomson and Beattie, had written in Southern English, and,
as Carlyle said, _in vacuo_, that is, with nothing specially national
in their work.  Burns's sweet though rugged Doric first secured the
vernacular poetry of his country a hearing beyond the border.  He had,
to be sure, a whole literature of popular songs and ballads behind him,
and his immediate models were Allan Ramsay and Robert Ferguson; but
these remained provincial, while Burns became universal.

He was born in Ayrshire, on the banks of "bonny Doon," in a clay biggin
not far from "Alloway's auld haunted kirk," the scene of the witch
dance in _Tam O'Shanter_.  His father was a hard-headed, God-fearing
tenant farmer, whose life and that of his sons was a harsh struggle
with poverty.  The crops failed; the landlord pressed for his rent; for
weeks at a time the family tasted no meat; yet this life of toil was
lightened by love and homely pleasures.  In the _Cotter's Saturday
Night_, Burns has drawn a beautiful picture of his parents' household,
the rest that came at the week's end, and the family worship about the
"wee bit ingle, blinkin' bonnily."  Robert was handsome, wild, and
witty.  He was universally susceptible, and his first songs, like his
last, were of "the lasses."  His head had been {217} stuffed, in
boyhood, with "tales and songs concerning devils, ghosts, fairies,
brownies, witches, warlocks, spunkies, kelpies, elf-candles,
dead-lights," etc., told him by one Jenny Wilson, an old woman who
lived in the family.  His ear was full of ancient Scottish tunes, and
as soon as he fell in love he began to make poetry as naturally as a
bird sings.  He composed his verses while following the plow or working
in the stack-yard; or, at evening, balancing on two legs of his chair
and watching the light of a peat fire play over the reeky walls of the
cottage.  Burns's love songs are in many keys, ranging from strains of
the most pure and exalted passion, like _Ae Fond Kiss_ and _To Mary in
Heaven_, to such loose ditties as _When Januar' Winds_ and _Green Grow
the Rashes O_.

Burns liked a glass almost as well as a lass, and at Mauchline, where
he carried on a farm with his brother Gilbert, after their father's
death, he began to seek a questionable relief from the pressure of
daily toil and unkind fates, in the convivialities of the tavern.
There, among the wits of the Mauchline Club, farmers' sons, shepherds
from the uplands, and the smugglers who swarmed over the west coast, he
would discuss politics and farming, recite his verses, and join in the
singing and ranting, while

  "Bousin o'er the nappy,
  And gettin' fou and unco happy."

To these experiences we owe not only those excellent drinking songs,
_John Barleycorn_ and _Willie {218} Brewed a Peck o' Maut_, but the
headlong fun of _Tam O'Shanter_, and the visions, grotesquely terrible,
of _Death and Dr. Hornbook_, and the dramatic humor of the _Jolly
Beggars_.  Cowper had celebrated "the cup which cheers but not
inebriates."  Burns sang the praises of _Scotch Drink_.  Cowper was a
stranger to Burns's high animal spirits, and his robust enjoyment of
life.  He had affections, but no passions.  At Mauchline, Burns, whose
irregularities did not escape the censure of the kirk, became involved,
through his friendship with Gavin Hamilton, in the controversy between
the Old Light and New Light clergy.  His _Holy Fair_, _Holy Tulzie_,
_Two Herds_, _Holy Willie's Prayer_, and _Address to the Unco Gude_,
are satires against bigotry and hypocrisy.  But in spite of the
rollicking profanity of his language, and the violence of his rebound
against the austere religion of Scotland, Burns was at bottom deeply
impressible by religious ideas, as may be seen from his _Prayer under
the Pressure of Violent Anguish_, and _Prayer in Prospect of Death_.

His farm turned out a failure, and he was on the eve of sailing for
Jamaica, when the favor with which his volume of poems was received,
stayed his departure, and turned his steps to Edinburgh.  There the
peasant poet was lionized for a winter season by the learned and polite
society of the Scotch capital, with results in the end not altogether
favorable to Burns's best interests.  For when society finally turned
the cold shoulder on {219} him, he had to go back to farming again,
carrying with him a bitter sense of injustice and neglect.  He leased a
farm in Ellisland, in 1788, and some friends procured his appointment
as exciseman for his district.  But poverty, disappointment, irregular
habits, and broken health clouded his last years, and brought him to an
untimely death at the age of thirty-seven.  He continued, however, to
pour forth songs of unequaled sweetness and force.  "The man sank,"
said Coleridge, "but the poet was bright to the last."

Burns is the best of British song-writers.  His songs are singable;
they are not merely lyrical poems.  They were meant to be sung, and
they are sung.  They were mostly set to old Scottish airs, and
sometimes they were built up from ancient fragments of anonymous,
popular poetry, a chorus, or stanza, or even a single line.  Such are,
for example, _Auld Lang Syne_, _My Heart's in the Highlands_, and
_Landlady, Count the Lawin_.  Burns had a great, warm heart.  His sins
were sins of passion, and sprang from the same generous soil that
nourished his impulsive virtues.  His elementary qualities as a poet
were sincerity, a healthy openness to all impressions of the beautiful,
and a sympathy which embraced men, animals, and the dumb objects of
nature.  His tenderness toward flowers and the brute creation may be
read in his lines _To a Mountain Daisy_, _To a Mouse_, and _The Auld
Farmer's New Year's Morning Salutation to his Auld Mare Maggie_.  Next
after love and good {220} fellowship, patriotism is the most frequent
motive of his song.  Of his national anthem, _Scots wha hae wi' Wallace
bled_, Carlyle said: "So long as there is warm blood in the heart of
Scotchman, or man, it will move in fierce thrills under this war ode."

Burns's politics were a singular mixture of sentimental toryism with
practical democracy.  A romantic glamour was thrown over the fortunes
of the exiled Stuarts, and to have been "out" in '45 with the Young
Pretender was a popular thing in parts of Scotland.  To this purely
poetic loyalty may be attributed such Jacobite ballads of Burns as
_Over the Water to Charlie_.  But his sober convictions were on the
side of liberty and human brotherhood, and are expressed in the _Twa
Dogs_, the _First Epistle to Davie_, and _A Man's a Man for a' that_.
His sympathy with the Revolution led him to send four pieces of
ordnance, taken from a captured smuggler, as a present to the French
Convention, a piece of bravado which got him into difficulties with his
superiors in the excise.  The poetry which Burns wrote, not in dialect,
but in the classical English, is in the stilted manner of his century,
and his prose correspondence betrays his lack of culture by his
constant lapse into rhetorical affectation and fine writing.

1. T. S. Perry's English Literature in the Eighteenth Century.

2. James Thomson.  The Castle of Indolence.

3. The Poems of Thomas Gray.


4. William Collins.  Odes.

5. The Six Chief Lives from Johnson's Lives of the Poets.  Edited by
Matthew Arnold.  Macmillan, 1878.

6. Boswell's Life of Johnson [abridged].  Henry Holt & Co., 1878.

7. Samuel Richardson.  Clarissa Harlowe.

8. Henry Fielding.  Tom Jones.

9. Tobias Smollett.  Humphrey Clinker.

10. Lawrence Sterne.  Tristram Shandy.

11. Oliver Goldsmith.  Vicar of Wakefield and Deserted Village.

12. William Cowper.  The Task and John Gilpin.

13. The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns.





The burst of creative activity at the opening of the 19th century has but
one parallel in English literary history, namely, the somewhat similar
flowering out of the national genius in the time of Elisabeth and the
first two Stuart kings.  The later age gave birth to no supreme poets,
like Shakspere and Milton.  It produced no _Hamlet_ and no _Paradise
Lost_; but it offers a greater number of important writers, a higher
average of excellence, and a wider range and variety of literary work
than any preceding era.  Wordsworth, Coleridge, Scott, Byron, Shelley,
and Keats are all great names; while Southey, Landor, Moore, Lamb, and De
Quincey would be noteworthy figures at any period, and deserve a fuller
mention than can be here accorded them.  But in so crowded a generation,
selection becomes increasingly needful, and in the present chapter,
accordingly, the emphasis will be laid upon the first-named group as not
only the most important, but the most representative of the various
tendencies of their time.


The conditions of literary work in this century have been almost unduly
stimulating.  The rapid advance in population, wealth, education, and the
means of communication has vastly increased the number of readers.  Every
one who has any thing to say can say it in print, and is sure of some
sort of a hearing.  A special feature of the time is the multiplication
of periodicals.  The great London dailies, like the _Times_ and the
_Morning Post_, which were started during the last quarter of the 18th
century, were something quite new in journalism.  The first of the modern
reviews, the _Edinburgh_, was established in 1802, as the organ of the
Whig party in Scotland.  This was followed by the _London Quarterly_, in
1808, and by _Blackwood's Magazine_, in 1817, both in the Tory interest.
The first editor of the _Edinburgh_ was Francis Jeffrey, who assembled
about him a distinguished corps of contributors, including the versatile
Henry Brougham, afterward a great parliamentary orator and
lord-chancellor of England, and the Rev. Sydney Smith, whose witty
sayings are still current.  The first editor of the _Quarterly_ was
William Gifford, a satirist, who wrote the _Baviad_ and _Maeviad_ in
ridicule of literary affectations.  He was succeeded in 1824 by James
Gibson Lockhart, the son-in-law of Walter Scott, and the author of an
excellent _Life of Scott_.  _Blackwood's_ was edited by John Wilson,
Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Edinburgh, who, under
the pen-name of "Christopher North," contributed to his magazine a series
{224} of brilliant, imaginary dialogues between famous characters of the
day, entitled _Noctes Ambrosianae_, because they were supposed to take
place at Ambrose's tavern in Edinburgh.  These papers were full of a
profuse, headlong eloquence, of humor, literary criticism, and
personalities interspersed with songs expressive of a roystering and
convivial Toryism and an uproarious contempt for Whigs and cockneys.
These reviews and magazines, and others which sprang up beside them,
became the _nuclei_ about which the wit and scholarship of both parties
gathered.  Political controversy under the Regency and the reign of
George IV. was thus carried on more regularly by permanent organs, and no
longer so largely by privateering, in the shape of pamphlets, like
Swift's _Public Spirit of the Whigs_, Johnson's _Taxation No Tyranny_,
and Burke's _Reflections on the Revolution in France_.  Nor did politics
by any means usurp the columns of the reviews.  Literature, art, science,
the whole circle of human effort and achievement passed under review.
_Blackwood's_, _Fraser's_, and the other monthlies, published stories,
poetry, criticism, and correspondence--every thing, in short, which
enters into the make-up of our magazines to-day, except illustrations.

Two main influences, of foreign origin, have left their trace in the
English writers of the first thirty years of the 19th century, the one
communicated by contact with the new German literature of the latter half
of the 18th century, and in particular {225} with the writings of Goethe,
Schiller, and Kant; the other springing from the events of the French
Revolution.  The influence of German upon English literature in the 19th
century was more intellectual and less formal than that of the Italian in
the 16th and of the French in the 18th.  In other words, the German
writers furnished the English with ideas and ways of feeling rather than
with models of style.  Goethe and Schiller did not become subjects for
literary imitation as Moliere, Racine, and Boileau had become in Pope's
time.  It was reserved for a later generation and for Thomas Carlyle to
domesticate the diction of German prose.  But the nature and extent of
this influence can, perhaps, best be noted when we come to take up the
authors of the time one by one.

The excitement caused by the French Revolution was something more obvious
and immediate.  When the Bastile fell, in 1789, the enthusiasm among the
friends of liberty and human progress in England was hardly less intense
than in France.  It was the dawn of a new day: the shackles were stricken
from the slave; all men were free and all men were brothers, and radical
young England sent up a shout that echoed the roar of the Paris mob.
Wordsworth's lines on the _Fall of the Bastile_, Coleridge's _Fall of
Robespierre_ and _Ode to France_, and Southey's revolutionary drama, _Wat
Tyler_, gave expression to the hopes and aspirations of the English
democracy.  In after life Wordsworth, looking back regretfully to those
years of promise, {226} wrote his poem on the _French Revolution as it
appeared to Enthusiasts at its Commencement_.

  "Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
  But to be young was very heaven.  Oh times
  In which the meager, stale, forbidding ways
  Of custom, law, and statute took at once
  The attraction of a country in romance."

Those were the days in which Wordsworth, then an under-graduate at
Cambridge, spent a college vacation in tramping through France, landing
at Calais on the eve of the very day (July 14, 1790) on which Louis XVI.
signalized the anniversary of the fall of the Bastile by taking the oath
of fidelity to the new Constitution.  In the following year Wordsworth
revisited France, where he spent thirteen months, forming an intimacy
with the republican general, Beaupuis, at Orleans, and reaching Paris not
long after the September massacres of 1792.  Those were the days, too, in
which young Southey and young Coleridge, having married sisters at
Bristol, were planning a "Pantisocracy," or ideal community, on the banks
of the Susquehannah, and denouncing the British government for going to
war with the French Republic.  This group of poets, who had met one
another first in the south of England, came afterward to be called the
Lake Poets, from their residence in the mountainous lake country of
Westmoreland and Cumberland, with which their names, and that of
Wordsworth, especially, are forever associated.  The so-called "Lakers"
{227} did not, properly speaking, constitute a school of poetry.  They
differed greatly from one another in mind and art.  But they were
connected by social ties and by religious and political sympathies.  The
excesses of the French Revolution, and the usurpation of Napoleon
disappointed them, as it did many other English liberals, and drove them
into the ranks of the reactionaries.  Advancing years brought
conservatism, and they became in time loyal Tories and orthodox Churchmen.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850), the chief of the three, and, perhaps, on
the whole, the greatest English poet since Milton, published his _Lyrical
Ballads_ in 1798.  The volume contained a few pieces by his friend
Coleridge--among them the _Ancient Mariner_--and its appearance may
fairly be said to mark an epoch in the history of English poetry.
Wordsworth regarded himself as a reformer of poetry; and in the preface
to the second volume of _Lyrical Ballads_, he defended the theory on
which they were composed.  His innovations were twofold, in
subject-matter, and in diction.  "The principal object which I proposed
to myself in these poems," he said, "was to choose incidents and
situations from common life.  Low and rustic life was generally chosen,
because, in that condition, the essential passions of the heart find a
better soil in which they can attain their maturity . . . and are
incorporated with the beautiful and permanent forms of nature."
Wordsworth discarded, in theory, the poetic diction of his predecessors,
{228} and professed to use "a selection of the real language of men in a
state of vivid sensation."  He adopted, he said, the language of men in
rustic life, "because such men hourly communicate with the best objects
from which the best part of language is originally derived."

In the matter of poetic diction Wordsworth did not, in his practice,
adhere to the doctrine of this preface.  Many of his most admired poems,
such as the _Lines written near Tintern Abbey_, the great _Ode on the
Intimations of Immortality_, the _Sonnets_, and many parts of his longest
poems, _The Excursion_ and _The Prelude_, deal with philosophic thought
and highly intellectualized emotions.  In all of these and in many others
the language is rich, stately, involved, and as remote from the "real
language" of Westmoreland shepherds, as is the epic blank verse of
Milton.  On the other hand, in those of his poems which were consciously
written in illustration of his theory, the affectation of simplicity,
coupled with a defective sense of humor, sometimes led him to the
selection of vulgar and trivial themes, and the use of language which is
bald, childish, or even ludicrous.  His simplicity is too often the
simplicity of Mother Goose rather than of Chaucer.  Instances of this
occur in such poems as _Peter Bell_, the _Idiot Boy_, _Goody Blake and
Harry Gill_, _Simon Lee_, and the _Wagoner_.  But there are multitudes of
Wordsworth's ballads and lyrics which are simple without being silly, and
which, in their homeliness and clear {229} profundity, in their
production of the strongest effects by the fewest strokes, are among the
choicest modern examples of _pure_, as distinguished from decorated, art.
Such are (out of many) _Ruth_, _Lucy_, _A Portrait, To a Highland Girl_,
_The Reverie of Poor Susan_, _To the Cuckoo_, _The Reaper_, _We Are
Seven_, _The Pet Lamb_, _The Fountain_, _The Two April Mornings_, _The
Leech Gatherer_, _The Thorn_, and _Yarrow Revisited_.

Wordsworth was something of a Quaker in poetry, and loved the sober drabs
and grays of life.  Quietism was his literary religion, and the
sensational was to him not merely vulgar, but almost wicked.  "The human
mind," he wrote, "is capable of being excited without the application of
gross and violent stimulants."  He disliked the far-fetched themes and
high-colored style of Scott and Byron.  He once told Landor that all of
Scott's poetry together was not worth sixpence.  From action and passion
he turned away to sing the inward life of the soul and the outward life
of Nature.  He said:

  "To me the meanest flower that blows can give
  Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears."

And again:

  "Long have I loved what I behold,
  The night that calms, the day that cheers;
  The common growth of mother earth
  Suffices me--her tears, her mirth,
  Her humblest mirth and tears."

Wordsworth's life was outwardly uneventful.  The companionship of the
mountains and of his {230} own thoughts; the sympathy of his household;
the lives of the dalesmen and cottagers about him furnished him with all
the stimulus that he required.

  "Love had he found in huts where poor men lie:
    His only teachers had been woods and rills,
  The silence that is in the starry sky,
    The sleep that is among the lonely hills."

He read little, but reflected much, and made poetry daily, composing, by
preference, out of doors, and dictating his verses to some member of his
family.  His favorite amanuensis was his sister Dorothy, a woman of fine
gifts, to whom Wordsworth was indebted for some of his happiest
inspirations.  She was the subject of the poem beginning "Her eyes are
wild," and her charming _Memorials of a Tour in the Scottish Highlands_
records the origin of many of her brother's best poems.  Throughout life
Wordsworth was remarkably self-centered.  The ridicule of the reviewers,
against which he gradually made his way to public recognition, never
disturbed his serene belief in himself, or in the divine message which he
felt himself commissioned to deliver.  He was a slow and serious person,
a preacher as well as a poet, with a certain rigidity, not to say
narrowness, of character.  That plastic temperament which we associate
with poetic genius Wordsworth either did not possess, or it hardened
early.  Whole sides of life were beyond the range of his sympathies.  He
{231} touched life at fewer points than Byron and Scott, but touched it
more profoundly.  It is to him that we owe the phrase "plain living and
high thinking," as also a most noble illustration of it in his own
practice.  His was the wisest and deepest spirit among the English poets
of his generation, though hardly the most poetic.  He wrote too much,
and, attempting to make every petty incident or reflection the occasion
of a poem, he finally reached the point of composing verses _On Seeing a
Harp in the shape of a Needle Case_, and on other themes more worthy of
Mrs. Sigourney.  In parts of his long blank-verse poems, _The Excursion_,
1814, and _The Prelude_--which was printed after his death in 1850,
though finished as early as 1806--the poetry wears very thin and its
place is taken by prosaic, tedious didacticism.  These two poems were
designed as portions of a still more extended work, _The Recluse_, which
was never completed.  _The Excursion_ consists mainly of philosophical
discussions on nature and human life between a school-master, a solitary,
and an itinerant peddler.  _The Prelude_ describes the development of
Wordsworth's own genius.  In parts of _The Excursion_ the diction is
fairly Shaksperian.

          "The good die first,
  And they whose hearts are dry as summer dust
  Burn to the socket."

A passage not only beautiful in itself, but dramatically true, in the
mouth of the bereaved mother {232} who utters it, to that human instinct
which generalizes a private sorrow into a universal law.  Much of _The
Prelude_ can hardly be called poetry at all, yet some of Wordsworth's
loftiest poetry is buried among its dreary wastes, and now and then, in
the midst of commonplaces, comes a flash of Miltonic splendor--like

  "Golden cities ten months' journey deep
  Among Tartarian wilds."

Wordsworth is, above all things, the poet of Nature.  In this province he
was not without forerunners.  To say nothing of Burns and Cowper, there
was George Crabbe, who had published his _Village_ in 1783--fifteen years
before the _Lyrical Ballads_--and whose last poem, _Tales of the Hall_,
came out in 1819, five years after _The Excursion_.  Byron called Crabbe
"Nature's sternest painter, and her best."  He was a minutely accurate
delineator of the harsher aspects of rural life.  He photographs a Gypsy
camp; a common, with its geese and donkey; a salt marsh, a shabby village
street, or tumble-down manse.  But neither Crabbe nor Cowper has the
imaginative lift of Wordsworth,

  "The light that never was on sea or land
  The consecration and the poet's dream."

In a note on a couplet in one of his earliest poems, descriptive of an
oak tree standing dark against the sunset, Wordsworth says: "I recollect
distinctly the very spot where this struck me.  {233} The moment was
important in my poetical history, for I date from it my consciousness of
the infinite variety of natural appearances which had been unnoticed by
the poets of any age or country, and I made a resolution to supply, in
some degree, the deficiency."  In later life he is said to have been
impatient of any thing spoken or written by another about mountains,
conceiving himself to have a monopoly of "the power of hills."  But
Wordsworth did not stop with natural description.  Matthew Arnold has
said that the office of modern poetry is the "moral interpretation of
Nature."  Such, at any rate, was Wordsworth's office.  To him Nature was
alive and divine.  He felt, under the veil of phenomena,

  "A presence that disturbs me with the joy
  Of elevated thought: a sense sublime
  Of something far more deeply interfused."

He approached, if he did not actually reach, the view of Pantheism, which
identifies God with Nature; and the mysticism of the Idealists, who
identify Nature with the soul of man.  This tendency was not inspired in
Wordsworth by German philosophy.  He was no metaphysician.  In his
rambles with Coleridge about Nether Stowey and Alfoxden, when both were
young, they had, indeed, discussed Spinoza.  And in the autumn of 1798,
after the publication of the _Lyrical Ballads_, the two friends went
together to Germany, where Wordsworth spent half a year.  But the
literature {234} and philosophy of Germany made little direct impression
upon Wordsworth.  He disliked Goethe, and he quoted with approval the
saying of the poet Klopstock, whom he met at Hamburg, that he placed the
romanticist Burger above both Goethe and Schiller.

It was through Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), who was pre-eminently
the _thinker_ among the literary men of his generation, that the new
German thought found its way into England.  During the fourteen months
which he spent in Germany--chiefly at Ratzburg and Goettingen--he had
familiarized himself with the transcendental philosophy of Immanuel Kant
and of his continuators, Fichte and Schelling, as well as with the
general literature of Germany.  On his return to England, he published,
in 1800, a free translation of Schiller's _Wallenstein_, and through his
writings, and more especially through his conversations, he became the
conductor by which German philosophic ideas reached the English literary

Coleridge described himself as being from boyhood a book-worm and a
day-dreamer.  He remained through life an omnivorous, though
unsystematic, reader.  He was helpless in practical affairs, and his
native indolence and procrastination were increased by his indulgence in
the opium habit.  On his return to England, in 1800, he went to reside at
Keswick, in the Lake Country, with his brother-in-law, Southey, whose
industry supported both families.  During his last nineteen {235} years
Coleridge found an asylum under the roof of Mr. James Gilman, of
Highgate, near London, whither many of the best young men in England were
accustomed to resort to listen to Coleridge's wonderful talk.  Talk,
indeed, was the medium through which he mainly influenced his generation.
It cost him an effort to put his thoughts on paper.  His _Table
Talk_--crowded with pregnant paragraphs--was taken down from his lips by
his nephew, Henry Coleridge.  His criticisms of Shakspere are nothing but
notes, made here and there, from a course of lectures delivered before
the Royal Institute, and never fully written out.  Though only hints and
suggestions, they are, perhaps, the most penetrative and helpful
Shaksperian criticism in English.  He was always forming projects and
abandoning them.  He projected a great work on Christian philosophy,
which was to have been his _magnum opus_, but he never wrote it.  He
projected an epic poem on the fall of Jerusalem.  "I schemed it at
twenty-five," he said, "but, alas! _venturum expectat_."  What bade fair
to be his best poem, _Christabel_, is a fragment.  Another strangely
beautiful poem, _Kubla Khan_--which came to him, he said, in sleep--is
even more fragmentary.  And the most important of his prose remains, his
_Biographia Literaria_, 1817, a history of his own opinions, breaks off

It was in his suggestiveness that Coleridge's great service to posterity
resided.  He was what J. S. Mill called a "seminal mind," and his thought
{236} had that power of stimulating thought in others, which is the mark
and the privilege of original genius.  Many a man has owed to some
sentence of Coleridge's, if not the awakening in himself of a new
intellectual life, at least the starting of fruitful trains of reflection
which have modified his whole view of certain great subjects.  On every
thing that he left is set the stamp of high mental authority.  He was
not, perhaps, primarily, he certainly was not exclusively, a poet.  In
theology, in philosophy, in political thought, and literary criticism, he
set currents flowing which are flowing yet.  The terminology of
criticism, for example, is in his debt for many of those convenient
distinctions--such as that between genius and talent, between wit and
humor, between fancy and imagination--which are familiar enough now, but
which he first introduced, or enforced.  His definitions and apothegms we
meet every-where.  Such are, for example, the sayings: "Every man is born
an Aristotelian or a Platonist."  "Prose is words in their best order;
poetry, the best words in the best order."  And among the bits of subtle
interpretation, that abound in his writings, may be mentioned his
estimate of Wordsworth, in the _Biographia Literaria_, and his sketch of
Hamlet's character--one with which he was personally in strong
sympathy--in the _Lectures on Shakspere_.

The Broad-Church party, in the English Church, among whose most eminent
exponents have been Frederic Robertson, Arnold of Rugby, {237} F. D.
Maurice, Charles Kingsley, and the late Dean Stanley, traces its
intellectual origin to Coleridge's _Aids to Reflection_; to his writings
and conversations in general, and particularly to his ideal of a national
Clerisy, as set forth in his essay on _Church and State_.  In politics,
as in religion, Coleridge's conservatism represents the reaction against
the destructive spirit of the eighteenth century and the French
revolution.  To this root-and-branch democracy he opposed the view, that
every old belief, or institution, such as the throne or the Church, had
served some need, and had a rational idea at the bottom of it, to which
it might be again recalled, and made once more a benefit to society,
instead of a curse and an anachronism.

As a poet, Coleridge has a sure, though slender, hold upon immortal fame.
No English poet has "sung so wildly well" as the singer of _Christabel_
and the _Ancient Mariner_.  The former of these is, in form, a romance in
a variety of meters, and in substance, a tale of supernatural possession,
by which a lovely and innocent maiden is brought under the control of a
witch.  Though unfinished and obscure in intention, it haunts the
imagination with a mystic power.  Byron had seen _Christabel_ in MS., and
urged Coleridge to publish it.  He hated all the "Lakers," but when, on
parting from Lady Byron, he wrote his song,

  "Fare thee well, and if forever,
  Still forever fare thee well,"

{238} he prefixed to it the noble lines from Coleridge's poem, beginning

  "Alas! they had been friends in youth."

In that weird ballad, the _Ancient Mariner_, the supernatural is handled
with even greater subtlety than in _Christabel_.  The reader is led to
feel that amid the loneliness of the tropic sea, the line between the
earthly and the unearthly vanishes, and the poet leaves him to discover
for himself whether the spectral shapes that the mariner saw were merely
the visions of the calenture, or a glimpse of the world of spirits.
Coleridge is one of our most perfect metrists.  The poet Swinburne--than
whom there can be no higher authority on this point (though he is rather
given to exaggeration)--pronounces _Kubla Khan_, "for absolute melody and
splendor, the first poem in the language."

Robert Southey, the third member of this group, was a diligent worker and
one of the most voluminous of English writers.  As a poet, he was lacking
in inspiration, and his big Oriental epics, _Thalaba_, 1801, and the
_Curse of Kehama_, 1810, are little better than wax-work.  Of his
numerous works in prose, the _Life of Nelson_ is, perhaps, the best, and
is an excellent biography.

Several other authors were more or less closely associated with the Lake
Poets by residence or social affiliation.  John Wilson, the editor of
_Blackwood's_, lived for some time, when a young man, at Elleray, on the
banks of Windermere.  He was an {239} athletic man of out-door habits, an
enthusiastic sportsman, and a lover of natural scenery.  His admiration
of Wordsworth was thought to have led him to imitation of the latter, in
his _Isle of Palms_, 1812, and his other poetry.

One of Wilson's companions, in his mountain walks, was Thomas De Quincey,
who had been led by his reverence for Wordsworth and Coleridge to take up
his residence, in 1808, at Grasmere, where he occupied for many years the
cottage from which Wordsworth had removed to Allan Bank.  De Quincey was
a shy, bookish little man, of erratic, nocturnal habits, who impresses
one, personally, as a child of genius, with a child's helplessness and a
child's sharp observation.  He was, above all things, a magazinist.  All
his writings, with one exception, appeared first in the shape of
contributions to periodicals; and his essays, literary criticisms, and
miscellaneous papers are exceedingly rich and varied.  The most famous of
them was his _Confessions of an English Opium Eater_, published as a
serial in the _London Magazine_, in 1821.  He had begun to take opium, as
a cure for the toothache, when a student at Oxford, where he resided from
1803 to 1808.  By 1816 he had risen to eight thousand drops of laudanum a
day.  For several years after this he experienced the acutest misery, and
his will suffered an entire paralysis.  In 1821 he succeeded in reducing
his dose to a comparatively small allowance, and in shaking off his
torpor so as to become capable of literary work.  {240} The most
impressive effect of the opium habit was seen in his dreams, in the
unnatural expansion of space and time, and the infinite repetition of the
same objects.  His sleep was filled with dim, vast images; measureless
cavalcades deploying to the sound of orchestral music; an endless
succession of vaulted halls, with staircases climbing to heaven, up which
toiled eternally the same solitary figure.  "Then came sudden alarms,
hurrying to and fro; trepidations of innumerable fugitives; darkness and
light; tempest and human faces."  Many of De Quincey's papers were
autobiographical, but there is always something baffling in these
reminiscences.  In the interminable wanderings of his pen--for which,
perhaps, opium was responsible--he appears to lose all trace of facts or
of any continuous story.  Every actual experience of his life seems to
have been taken up into a realm of dream, and there distorted till the
reader sees not the real figures, but the enormous, grotesque shadows of
them, executing wild dances on a screen.  An instance of this process is
described by himself in his _Vision of Sudden Death_.  But his
unworldliness and faculty of vision-seeing were not inconsistent with the
keenness of judgment and the justness and delicacy of perception
displayed in his _Biographical Sketches_ of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and
other contemporaries: in his critical papers on _Pope, Milton, Lessing,
Homer and the Homeridae_: his essay on _Style_; and his _Brief Appraisal
of the Greek Literature_.  His curious scholarship is seen in his
articles on the _Toilet of a {241} Hebrew Lady_, and the _Casuistry of
Roman Meals_; his ironical and somewhat elaborate humor in his essay on
_Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts_.  Of his narrative pieces the
most remarkable is his _Revolt of the Tartars_, describing the flight of
a Kalmuck tribe of six hundred thousand souls from Russia to the Chinese
frontier: a great hegira or anabasis, which extended for four thousand
miles over desert steppes infested with foes; occupied six months' time,
and left nearly half of the tribe dead upon the way.  The subject was
suited to De Quincey's imagination.  It was like one of his own opium
visions, and he handled it with a dignity and force which make the
history not altogether unworthy of comparison with Thucydides's great
chapter on the Sicilian Expedition.

An intimate friend of Southey was Walter Savage Landor, a man of kingly
nature, of a leonine presence, with a most stormy and unreasonable
temper, and yet with the courtliest graces of manner and with--said
Emerson--a "wonderful brain, despotic, violent, and inexhaustible."  He
inherited wealth, and lived a great part of his life at Florence, where
he died, in 1864, in his ninetieth year.  Dickens, who knew him at Bath,
in the latter part of his life, made a kindly caricature of him as
Lawrence Boythom, in _Bleak House_, whose "combination of superficial
ferocity and inherent tenderness," testifies Henry Crabb Robinson, in his
_Diary_, was true to the life.  Landor is the most purely classical of
English writers.  Not merely his themes {242} but his whole way of
thinking was pagan and antique.  He composed, indifferently, in English
or Latin, preferring the latter, if any thing, in obedience to his
instinct for compression and exclusiveness.  Thus portions of his
narrative poem, _Gebir_, 1798, were written originally in Latin, and he
added a Latin version, _Gebirius_, to the English edition.  In like
manner his _Hellenics_, 1847, were mainly translations from his Latin
_Idyllia Heroica_, written years before.  The Hellenic clearness and
repose which were absent from his life, Landor sought in his art.  His
poems, in their restraint, their objectivity, their aloofness from modern
feeling, have something chill and artificial.  The verse of poets like
Byron and Wordsworth is alive; the blood runs in it.  But Landor's
polished, clean-cut _intaglios_ have been well described as "written in
marble."  He was a master of fine and solid prose.  His _Pericles and
Aspasia_ consists of a series of letters passing between the great
Athenian demagogue, the hetaira, Aspasia, her friend, Cleone of Miletus,
Anaxagorus, the philosopher, and Pericles's nephew, Alcibiades.  In this
masterpiece the intellectual life of Athens, at its period of highest
refinement, is brought before the reader with singular vividness, and he
is made to breathe an atmosphere of high-bred grace, delicate wit, and
thoughtful sentiment, expressed in English "of Attic choice."  The
_Imaginary Conversations_, 1824-1846, were Platonic dialogues between a
great variety of historical characters; between, for example, Dante and
Beatrice, Washington {243} and Franklin, Queen Elisabeth and Cecil,
Xenophon and Cyrus the Younger, Bonaparte and the President of the
Senate.  Landor's writings have never been popular; they address an
aristocracy of scholars; and Byron--whom Landor disliked and considered
vulgar--sneered at the latter as a writer who "cultivated much private
renown in the shape of Latin verses."  He said of himself that he "never
contended with a contemporary, but walked alone on the far eastern
uplands, meditating and remembering."

A schoolmate of Coleridge, at Christ's Hospital, and his friend and
correspondent through life, was Charles Lamb, one of the most charming of
English essayists.  He was an old bachelor, who lived alone with his
sister Mary a lovable and intellectual woman, but subject to recurring
attacks of madness.  Lamb was "a notched and cropped scrivener, a votary
of the desk," a clerk, that is, in the employ of the East India Company.
He was of antiquarian tastes, an ardent play-goer, a lover of whist and
of the London streets; and these tastes are reflected in his _Essays of
Elia_, contributed to the _London Magazine_ and reprinted in book form in
1823.  From his mousing among the Elisabethan dramatists and such old
humorists as Burton and Fuller, his own style imbibed a peculiar
quaintness and pungency.  His _Specimens of English Dramatic Poets_,
1808, is admirable for its critical insight.  In 1802 he paid a visit to
Coleridge at Keswick, in the Lake Country; but he felt or {244} affected
a whimsical horror of the mountains, and said, "Fleet Street and the
Strand are better places to live in."  Among the best of his essays are
_Dream Children_, _Poor Relations_, _The Artificial Comedy of the Last
Century_, _Old China_, _Roast Pig_, _A Defense of Chimney-sweeps_, _A
Complaint of the Decay of Beggars in the Metropolis_, and _The Old
Benchers of the Inner Temple_.

The romantic movement, preluded by Gray, Collins, Chatterton, Macpherson,
and others, culminated in Walter Scott (1771-1832).  His passion for the
medieval was first excited by reading Percy's _Reliques_, when he was a
boy; and in one of his school themes he maintained that Ariosto was a
greater poet than Homer.  He began early to collect manuscript ballads,
suits of armor, pieces of old plate, border-horns, and similar relics.
He learned Italian in order to read the romancers--Ariosto, Tasso, Pulci,
and Boiardo, preferring them to Dante.  He studied Gothic architecture,
heraldry, and the art of fortification, and made drawings of famous ruins
and battle-fields.  In particular he read eagerly every thing that he
could lay hands on relating to the history, legends, and antiquities of
the Scottish border--the vale of Tweed, Teviotdale, Ettrick Forest, and
the Yarrow, of all which land he became the laureate, as Burns had been
of Ayrshire and the "West Country."  Scott, like Wordsworth, was an
out-door poet.  He spent much time in the saddle, and was fond of horses,
dogs, hunting, and salmon-fishing.  He had a keen {245} eye for the
beauties of natural scenery, though "more especially," he admits, "when
combined with ancient ruins or remains of our forefathers' piety or
splendor."  He had the historic imagination, and, in creating the
historical novel, he was the first to throw a poetic glamour over
European annals.  In 1803 Wordsworth visited Scott at Lasswade, near
Edinburgh; and Scott afterward returned the visit at Grasmere.
Wordsworth noted that his guest was "full of anecdote and averse from
disquisition."  The Englishman was a moralist and much given to
"disquisition," while the Scotchman was, above all things, a _raconteur_,
and, perhaps, on the whole, the foremost of British story-tellers.
Scott's Toryism, too, was of a different stripe from Wordsworth's, being
rather the result of sentiment and imagination than of philosophy and
reflection.  His mind struck deep root in the past; his local attachments
and family pride were intense.  Abbotsford was his darling, and the
expenses of this domain and of the baronial hospitality which he there
extended to all comers were among the causes of his bankruptcy.  The
enormous toil which he exacted of himself, to pay off the debt of 117,000
pounds, contracted by the failure of his publishers, cost him his life.
It is said that he was more gratified when the Prince Regent created him
a baronet, in 1820, than by all the public recognition that he acquired
as the author of the Waverley Novels.

Scott was attracted by the romantic side of {246} German literature.  His
first published poem was a translation made in 1796 from Burger's wild
ballad, _Leonora_.  He followed this up with versions of the same poet's
_Wilde Jaeger_, of Goethe's violent drama of feudal life, _Goetz Van
Berlichingen_, and with other translations from the German, of a similar
class.  On his horseback trips through the border, where he studied the
primitive manners of the Liddesdale people, and took down old ballads
from the recitation of ancient dames and cottagers, he amassed the
materials for his _Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border_, 1802.  But the
first of his original poems was the _Lay of the Last Minstrel_, published
in 1805, and followed, in quick succession, by _Marmion_, the _Lady of
the Lake_, _Rokeby_, the _Lord of the Isles_, and a volume of ballads and
lyrical pieces, all issued during the years 1806-1814.  The popularity
won by this series of metrical romances was immediate and wide-spread.
Nothing so fresh, or so brilliant, had appeared in English poetry for
nearly two centuries.  The reader was hurried along through scenes of
rapid action, whose effect was heightened by wild landscapes and
picturesque manners.  The pleasure was a passive one.  There was no deep
thinking to perplex, no subtler beauties to pause upon; the feelings were
stirred pleasantly, but not deeply; the effect was on the surface.  The
spell employed was novelty--or, at most, wonder--and the chief emotion
aroused was breathless interest in the progress of the story.  Carlyle
said that Scott's genius was _in extenso_, {247} rather than _in
intenso_, and that its great praise was its healthiness.  This is true of
his verse, but not altogether so of his prose, which exhibits deeper
qualities.  Some of Scott's most perfect poems, too, are his shorter
ballads, like _Jock o' Hazeldean_, and _Proud Maisie is in the Wood_,
which have a greater intensity and compression than his metrical tales.

From 1814 to 1831 Scott wrote and published the _Waverley_ novels, some
thirty in number; if we consider the amount of work done, the speed with
which it was done, and the general average of excellence maintained,
perhaps the most marvelous literary feat on record.  The series was
issued anonymously, and takes its name from the first number, _Waverley,
or 'Tis Sixty Years Since_.  This was founded upon the rising of the
clans, in 1745, in support of the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart,
and it revealed to the English public that almost foreign country which
lay just across their threshold, the Scottish Highlands.  The _Waverley_
novels remain, as a whole, unequaled as historical fiction, although,
here and there a single novel, like George Eliot's _Romola_, or
Thackeray's _Henry Esmond_, or Kingsley's _Hypatia_, may have attained a
place beside the best of them.  They were a novelty when they appeared.
English prose fiction had somewhat declined since the time of Fielding
and Goldsmith.  There were truthful, though rather tame, delineations of
provincial life, like Jane Austen's _Sense and Sensibility_, 1811, and
{248} _Pride and Prejudice_, 1813; or Maria Edgeworth's _Popular Tales_,
1804.  On the other hand, there were Gothic romances, like the _Monk_ of
Matthew Gregory Lewis, to whose _Tales of Wonder_ some of Scott's
translations from the German had been contributed; or like Anne
Radcliffe's _Mysteries of Udolpho_.  The great original of this school of
fiction was Horace Walpole's _Castle of Otranto_, 1765, an absurd tale of
secret trap-doors, subterranean vaults, apparitions of monstrous mailed
figures and colossal helmets, pictures that descend from their frames,
and hollow voices that proclaim the ruin of ancient families.

Scott used the machinery of romance, but he was not merely a romancer, or
a historical novelist even, and it is not, as Carlyle implies, the
buff-belts and jerkins which principally interest us in his heroes.
_Ivanhoe_ and _Kenilworth_ and the _Talisman_ are, indeed, romances pure
and simple, and very good romances at that.  But, in novels such as _Rob
Roy_, the _Antiquary_, the _Heart of Midlothian_, and the _Bride of
Lammermoor_, Scott drew from contemporary life, and from his intimate
knowledge of Scotch character.  The story is there, with its entanglement
of plot and its exciting adventures, but there are also, as truly as in
Shakspere, though not in the same degree, the observation of life, the
knowledge of men, the power of dramatic creation.  No writer awakens in
his readers a warmer personal affection than Walter Scott, the brave,
honest, kindly gentleman, the noblest {249} figure among the literary men
of his generation.

Another Scotch poet was Thomas Campbell, whose _Pleasures of Hope_, 1799,
was written in Pope's couplet, and in the stilted diction of the
eighteenth century.  _Gertrude of Wyoming_, 1809, a long narrative poem
in Spenserian stanza, is untrue to the scenery and life of Pennsylvania,
where its scene is laid.  But Campbell turned his rhetorical manner and
his clanking, martial verse to fine advantage in such pieces as
_Hohenlinden_, _Ye Mariners of England_, and the _Battle of the Baltic_.
These have the true lyric fire, and rank among the best English war-songs.

When Scott was asked why he had left off writing poetry, he answered,
"Byron _bet_ me."  George Gordon Byron (1788-1824) was a young man of
twenty-four, when, on his return from a two years' sauntering through
Portugal, Spain, Albania, Greece, and the Levant, he published, in the
first two cantos of _Childe Harold_, 1812, a sort of poetic itinerary of
his experiences and impressions.  The poem took, rather to its author's
surprise, who said that he woke one morning and found himself famous.
_Childe Harold_ opened a new field to poetry, the romance of travel, the
picturesque aspects of foreign scenery, manners, and costumes.  It is
instructive of the difference between the two ages, in poetic sensibility
to such things, to compare Byron's glowing imagery with Addison's tame
_Letter from Italy_, written a century before.  _Childe {250} Harold_ was
followed by a series of metrical tales, the _Giaour_, the _Bride of
Abydos_, the _Corsair_, _Lara_, the _Siege of Corinth_, _Parasina_, and
_Prisoner of Chillon_, all written in the years 1813-1816.  These poems
at once took the place of Scott's in popular interest, dazzling a public
that had begun to weary of chivalry romances, with pictures of Eastern
life, with incidents as exciting as Scott's, descriptions as highly
colored, and a much greater intensity of passion.  So far as they
depended for this interest upon the novelty of their accessories, the
effect was a temporary one.  Seraglios, divans, bulbuls, Gulistans,
Zuleikas, and other Oriental properties, deluged English poetry for a
time, and then subsided; even as the tide of moss-troopers, sorcerers,
hermits, and feudal castles had already had its rise and fall.

But there was a deeper reason for the impression made by Byron's poetry
upon his contemporaries.  He laid his finger right on the sore spot in
modern life.  He had the disease with which the time was sick, the
world-weariness, the desperation which proceeded from "passion incapable
of being converted into action."  We find this tone in much of the
literature which followed the failure of the French Revolution and the
Napoleonic wars.  From the irritations of that period, the disappointment
of high hopes for the future of the race, the growing religious
disbelief, and the revolt of democracy and free thought against
conservative reaction, sprang what Southey called the "Satanic {251}
school," which spoke its loudest word in Byron.  Titanic is the better
word, for the rebellion was not against God, but Jupiter, that is,
against the State, Church, and society of Byron's day; against George
III., the Tory cabinet of Lord Castlereigh, the Duke of Wellington, the
bench of Bishops, London gossip, the British Constitution, and British
cant.  In these poems of Byron, and in his dramatic experiments,
_Manfred_ and _Cain_, there is a single figure--the figure of Byron under
various masks--and one pervading mood, a restless and sardonic gloom, a
weariness of life, a love of solitude, and a melancholy exaltation in the
presence of the wilderness and the sea.  Byron's hero is always
represented as a man originally noble, whom some great wrong, by others,
or some mysterious crime of his own, has blasted and embittered, and who
carries about the world a seared heart and a somber brow.  Harold--who
may stand as a type of all his heroes--has run "through sin's labyrinth"
and feeling the "fullness of satiety," is drawn abroad to roam, "the
wandering exile of his own dark mind."  The loss of a capacity for pure,
unjaded emotion is the constant burden of Byron's lament.

  "No more, no more, O never more on me
  The freshness of the heart shall fall like dew."

and again,

  "O could I feel as I have felt--or be what I have been,
  Or weep as I could once have wept, o'er many a vanished scene;
  As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish tho' they be,
  So, midst the withered waste of life, those tears would flow to me."

This mood was sincere in Byron; but by cultivating it, and posing too
long in one attitude, he became self-conscious and theatrical, and much
of his serious poetry has a false ring.  His example infected the minor
poetry of the time, and it was quite natural that Thackeray--who
represented a generation that had a very different ideal of the
heroic--should be provoked into describing Byron as "a big, sulky dandy."

Byron was well fitted by birth and temperament to be the spokesman of
this fierce discontent.  He inherited from his mother a haughty and
violent temper, and profligate tendencies from his father.  He was
through life a spoiled child, whose main characteristic was willfulness.
He liked to shock people by exaggerating his wickedness, or by perversely
maintaining the wrong side of a dispute.  But he had traits of bravery
and generosity.  Women loved him, and he made strong friends.  There was
a careless charm about him which fascinated natures as unlike each other
as Shelley and Scott.  By the death of the fifth Lord Byron without
issue, Byron came into a title and estates at the age of ten.  Though a
liberal in politics he had aristocratic feelings, and was vain of his
rank as he was of his beauty.  He was educated at Harrow and at Trinity
College, Cambridge, where he was idle and {253} dissipated, but did a
great deal of miscellaneous reading.  He took some of his Cambridge
set--Hobhouse, Matthews, and others--to Newstead Abbey, his ancestral
seat, where they filled the ancient cloisters with eccentric orgies.
Byron was strikingly handsome.  His face had a spiritual paleness and a
classic regularity, and his dark hair curled closely to his head.  A
deformity in one of his feet was a mortification to him, though it did
not greatly impair his activity, and he prided himself upon his powers as
a swimmer.

In 1815, when at the height of his literary and social _eclat_ in London,
he married.  In February of the following year he was separated from Lady
Byron, and left England forever, pursued by the execrations of outraged
respectability.  In this chorus of abuse there was mingled a share of
cant; but Byron got, on the whole, what he deserved.  From Switzerland,
where he spent a summer by Lake Leman, with the Shelleys; from Venice,
Ravenna, Pisa, and Rome, scandalous reports of his intrigues and his wild
debaucheries were wafted back to England, and with these came poem after
poem, full of burning genius, pride, scorn, and anguish, and all hurling
defiance at English public opinion.  The third and fourth cantos of
_Childe Harold_, 1816-1818, were a great advance upon the first two, and
contain the best of Byron's serious poetry.  He has written his name all
over the continent of Europe, and on a hundred memorable spots has made
the scenery his own.  On the field of Waterloo, on "the castled {254}
crag of Drachenfels," "by the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone," in
Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs, in the Coliseum at Rome, and among the
"Isles of Greece," the tourist is compelled to see with Byron's eyes and
under the associations of his pilgrimage.  In his later poems, such as
_Beppo_, 1818, and _Don Juan_, 1819-1823, he passed into his second
manner, a mocking cynicism gaining ground upon the somewhat stagy gloom
of his early poetry--Mephistophiles gradually elbowing out Satan.  _Don
Juan_, though morally the worst, is intellectually the most vital and
representative of Byron's poems.  It takes up into itself most fully the
life of the time; exhibits most thoroughly the characteristic
alternations of Byron's moods and the prodigal resources of wit, passion,
and understanding, which--rather than imagination--were his prominent
qualities as a poet.  The hero, a graceless, amorous, stripling, goes
wandering from Spain to the Greek islands and Constantinople, thence to
St. Petersburg, and finally to England.  Every-where his seductions are
successful, and Byron uses him as a means of exposing the weakness of the
human heart and the rottenness of society in all countries.  In 1823,
breaking away from his life of selfish indulgence in Italy, Byron threw
himself into the cause of Grecian liberty, which he had sung so
gloriously in the _Isles of Greece_.  He died at Missolonghi, in the
following year, of a fever contracted by exposure and overwork.

Byron was a great poet but not a great literary {255} artist.  He wrote
negligently and with the ease of assured strength, his mind gathering
heat as it moved, and pouring itself forth in reckless profusion.  His
work is diffuse and imperfect; much of it is melodrama or speech-making
rather than true poetry.  But on the other hand, much, very much of it,
is unexcelled as the direct, strong, sincere utterance of personal
feeling.  Such is the quality of his best lyrics, like _When We Two
Parted_, the _Elegy on Thyrza_, _Stanzas to Augusta_, _She Walks in
Beauty_, and of innumerable passages, lyrical and descriptive, in his
longer poems.  He had not the wisdom of Wordsworth, nor the rich and
subtle imagination of Coleridge, Shelley, and Keats when they were at
their best.  But he had greater body and motive force than any of them.
He is the strongest personality among English poets since Milton, though
his strength was wasted by want of restraint and self-culture.  In Milton
the passion was there, but it was held in check by the will and the
artistic conscience, made subordinate to good ends, ripened by long
reflection, and finally uttered in forms of perfect and harmonious
beauty.  Byron's love of Nature was quite different in kind from
Wordsworth's.  Of all English poets he has sung most lyrically of that
national theme, the sea, as witness among many other passages, the famous
apostrophe to the ocean, which closes _Childe Harold_, and the opening of
the third canto in the same poem,

  "Once more upon the waters," etc.

{256} He had a passion for night and storm, because they made him forget

          "Most glorious night!
  Thou wert not sent for slumber!  Let me be
  A sharer in thy fierce and far delight,
  A portion of the tempest and of thee!"

Byron's literary executor and biographer was the Irish poet, Thomas
Moore, a born song-writer, whose _Irish Melodies_, set to old native
airs, are, like Burns's, genuine, spontaneous, singing, and run naturally
to music.  Songs such as the _Meeting of the Waters_, _The Harp of Tara_,
_Those Evening Bells_, the _Light of Other Days_, _Araby's Daughter_, and
the _Last Rose of Summer_ were, and still are, popular favorites.
Moore's Oriental romance, _Lalla Rookh_, 1817, is overladen with ornament
and with a sugary sentiment that clogs the palate.  He had the quick
Irish wit, sensibility rather than passion, and fancy rather than

Byron's friend, Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822), was also in fiery
revolt against all conventions and institutions, though his revolt
proceeded not, as in Byron's case, from the turbulence of passions which
brooked no restraint, but rather from an intellectual impatience of any
kind of control.  He was not, like Byron, a sensual man, but temperate
and chaste.  He was, indeed, in his life and in his poetry, as nearly a
disembodied spirit as a human creature can be.  The German poet, Heine,
said that liberty was the religion of this century, {257} and of this
religion Shelley was a worshiper.  His rebellion against authority began
early.  He refused to fag at Eton, and was expelled from Oxford for
publishing a tract on the _Necessity of Atheism_.  At nineteen, he ran
away with Harriet Westbrook, and was married to her in Scotland.  Three
years later he deserted her for Mary Godwin, with whom he eloped to
Switzerland.  Two years after this his first wife drowned herself in the
Serpentine, and Shelley was then formally wedded to Mary Godwin.  All
this is rather startling, in the bare statement of it, yet it is not
inconsistent with the many testimonies that exist, to Shelley's singular
purity and beauty of character, testimonies borne out by the evidence of
his own writings.  Impulse with him took the place of conscience.  Moral
law, accompanied by the sanction of power, and imposed by outside
authority, he rejected as a form of tyranny.  His nature lacked
robustness and ballast.  Byron, who was at bottom intensely practical,
said that Shelley's philosophy was too spiritual and romantic.  Hazlitt,
himself a Radical, wrote of Shelley: "He has a fire in his eye, a fever
in his blood, a maggot in his brain, a hectic flutter in his speech,
which mark out the philosophic fanatic.  He is sanguine complexioned and
shrill voiced."  It was, perhaps, with some recollection of this
last-mentioned trait of Shelley the man, that Carlyle wrote of Shelley
the poet, that "the sound of him was shrieky," and that he had "filled
the earth with an inarticulate wailing."


His career as a poet began characteristically enough, with the
publication, while at Oxford, of a volume of political rimes, entitled
_Margaret Nicholson's Remains_, Margaret Nicholson being the crazy woman
who tried to stab George III.  His boyish poem, _Queen Mab_, was
published in 1813; _Alastor_ in 1816, and the _Revolt of Islam_--his
longest--in 1818, all before he was twenty-one.  These were filled with
splendid, though unsubstantial, imagery, but they were abstract in
subject, and had the faults of incoherence and formlessness which make
Shelley's longer poems wearisome and confusing.  They sought to embody
his social creed of Perfectionism, as well as a certain vague Pantheistic
system of belief in a spirit of love in nature and man, whose presence is
a constant source of obscurity in Shelley's verse.  In 1818 he went to
Italy, where the last four years of his life were passed, and where,
under the influences of Italian art and poetry, his writing became deeper
and stronger.  He was fond of yachting, and spent much of his time upon
the Mediterranean.  In the summer of 1822, his boat was swamped in a
squall off the Gulf of Spezzia, and Shelley's drowned body was washed
ashore, and burned in the presence of Byron and Leigh Hunt.  The ashes
were entombed in the Protestant cemetery at Rome, with the epitaph, _Cor

Shelley's best and maturest work, nearly all of which was done in Italy,
includes his tragedy, _The Cenci_, 1819, and his lyrical drama,
_Prometheus {259} Unbound_, 1821.  The first of these has a unity, and a
definiteness of contour unusual with Shelley, and is, with the exception
of some of Robert Browning's, the best English tragedy since Otway.
_Prometheus_ represented to Shelley's mind the human spirit fighting
against divine oppression, and in his portrayal of this figure, he kept
in mind not only the _Prometheus_ of Aeschylus, but the Satan of
_Paradise Lost_.  Indeed, in this poem, Shelley came nearer to the
sublime than any English poet since Milton.  Yet it is in lyrical, rather
than in dramatic, quality that _Prometheus Unbound_ is great.  If Shelley
be not, as his latest editor, Mr. Forman, claims him to be, the foremost
of English lyrical poets, he is at least the most lyrical of them.  He
had, in a supreme degree, the "lyric cry."  His vibrant nature trembled
to every breath of emotion, and his nerves craved ever newer shocks; to
pant, to quiver, to thrill, to grow faint in the spasm of intense
sensation.  The feminine cast observable in Shelley's portrait is borne
out by this tremulous sensibility in his verse.  It is curious how often
he uses the metaphor of wings: of the winged spirit, soaring, like his
skylark, till lost in music, rapture, light, and then falling back to
earth.  Three successive moods--longing, ecstasy, and the revulsion of
despair--are expressed in many of his lyrics; as in the _Hymn to the
Spirit of Nature_, in _Prometheus_, in the ode _To a Skylark_, and in the
_Lines to an Indian Air_--Edgar Poe's favorite.  His passionate desire to
lose {260} himself in Nature, to become one with that spirit of love and
beauty in the universe, which was to him in place of God, is expressed in
the _Ode to the West Wind_, his most perfect poem:

  "Make me thy lyre, even as the forest is;
  What if my leaves are falling like its own!
  The tumult of thy mighty harmonies
  Will take from both a deep autumnal tone.
  Sweet, though in sadness, be thou, Spirit fierce,
  My spirit! be thou me, impetuous one!"

In the lyrical pieces already mentioned, together with _Adonais_, the
lines _Written in the Euganean Hills_, _Epipsychidion_, _Stanzas Written
in Dejection near Naples_, _A Dream of the Unknown_, and many others,
Shelley's lyrical genius reaches a rarer loveliness and a more faultless
art than Byron's ever attained, though it lacks the directness and
momentum of Byron.

In Shelley's longer poems, intoxicated with the music of his own singing,
he abandons himself wholly to the guidance of his imagination, and the
verse seems to go on of itself, like the enchanted boat in _Alastor_,
with no one at the helm.  Vision succeeds vision in glorious but
bewildering profusion; ideal landscapes and cities of cloud "pinnacled
dim in the intense inane."  These poems are like the water-falls in the
Yosemite, which, tumbling from a height of several thousand feet, are
shattered into foam by the air, and waved about over the valley.  Very
beautiful is this descending spray, and the rainbow dwells in its {261}
bosom; but there is no longer any stream, nothing but an irridescent
mist.  The word _etherial_, best expresses the quality of Shelley's
genius.  His poetry is full of atmospheric effects; of the tricks which
light plays with the fluid elements of water and air; of stars, clouds,
rain, dew, mist, frost, wind, the foam of seas, the phases of the moon,
the green shadows of waves, the shapes of flames, the "golden lightning
of the setting sun."  Nature, in Shelley, wants homeliness and relief.
While poets like Wordsworth and Burns let in an ideal light upon the
rough fields of earth, Shelley escapes into a "moonlight-colored" realm
of shadows and dreams, among whose abstractions the heart turns cold.
One bit of Wordsworth's mountain turf is worth them all.

By the death of John Keats (1796-1821), whose elegy Shelley sang in
_Adonais_, English poetry suffered an irreparable loss.  His _Endymion_,
1818, though disfigured by mawkishness and by some affectations of
manner, was rich in promise.  Its faults were those of youth, the faults
of exuberance and of a tremulous sensibility, which time corrects.
_Hyperion_, 1820, promised to be his masterpiece, but he left it
unfinished--"a Titanic torso"--because, as he said, "there were too many
Miltonic inversions in it."  The subject was the displacement, by Phoebus
Apollo, of the ancient sun-god, Hyperion, the last of the Titans who
retained his dominion.  It was a theme of great capabilities, and the
poem was begun by Keats, {262} with a strength of conception which leads
to the belief that here was once more a really epic genius, had fate
suffered it to mature.  The fragment, as it stands--"that inlet to severe
magnificence"--proves how rapidly Keats's diction was clarifying.  He had
learned to string up his looser chords.  There is nothing maudlin in
_Hyperion_; all there is in whole tones and in the grand manner, "as
sublime as Aeschylus," said Byron, with the grave, antique simplicity,
and something of modern sweetness interfused.

Keats's father was a groom in a London livery-stable.  The poet was
apprenticed at fifteen to a surgeon.  At school he had studied Latin, but
not Greek.  He, who of all English poets had the most purely Hellenic
spirit, made acquaintance with Greek literature and art only through the
medium of classical dictionaries, translations, and popular mythologies;
and later through the marbles and casts in the British Museum.  His
friend, the artist Haydon, lent him a copy of Chapman's Homer, and the
impression that it made upon him he recorded in his sonnet, _On First
Looking into Chapman's Homer_.  Other poems of the same inspiration are
his three sonnets, _To Homer_, _On Seeing the Elgin Marbles_, _On a
Picture of Leander_, _Lamia_, and the beautiful _Ode on a Grecian Urn_.
But Keats's art was retrospective and eclectic, the blossom of a double
root; and "golden-tongued Romance with serene lute" had her part in him,
as well as the classics.  In his seventeenth year he {263} had read the
_Faery Queene_, and from Spenser he went on to a study of Chaucer,
Shakspere, and Milton.  Then he took up Italian and read _Ariosto_.  The
influence of these studies is seen in his poem, _Isabella, or the Pot of
Basil_, taken from a story of Boccaccio; in his wild ballad, _La Belle
Dame sans Merci_; and in his love tale, the _Eve of Saint Agnes_, with
its wealth of medieval adornment.  In the _Ode to Autumn_, and _Ode to a
Nightingale_, the Hellenic choiceness is found touched with the warmer
hues of romance.

There is something deeply tragic in the short story of Keats's life.  The
seeds of consumption were in him; he felt the stirrings of a potent
genius, but knew that he could not wait for it to unfold, but must die

  "Before high-piled books, in charactry
  Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain."

His disease was aggravated, possibly, by the stupid brutality with which
the reviewers had treated _Endymion_; and certainly by the hopeless love
which devoured him.  "The very thing which I want to live most for," he
wrote, "will be a great occasion of my death.  If I had any chance of
recovery, this passion would kill me."  In the autumn of 1820, his
disease gaining apace, he went on a sailing vessel to Italy, accompanied
by a single friend, a young artist named Severn.  The change was of no
avail, and he died at Rome a few weeks after, in his twenty-sixth year.


Keats was, above all things, the _artist_, with that love of the
beautiful and that instinct for its reproduction which are the artist's
divinest gifts.  He cared little about the politics and philosophy of his
day, and he did not make his poetry the vehicle of ideas.  It was
sensuous poetry, the poetry of youth and gladness.  But if he had lived,
and if, with wider knowledge of men and deeper experience of life, he had
attained to Wordsworth's spiritual insight and to Byron's power of
passion and understanding, he would have become a greater poet than
either.  For he had a style--a "natural magic"--which only needed the
chastening touch of a finer culture to make it superior to any thing in
modern English poetry and to force us back to Milton or Shakspere for a
comparison.  His tombstone, not far from Shelley's, bears the inscription
of his own choosing: "Here lies one whose name was writ in water."  But
it would be within the limits of truth to say that it is written in large
characters on most of our contemporary poetry.  "Wordsworth," says
Lowell, "has influenced most the ideas of succeeding poets; Keats their
forms."  And he has influenced these out of all proportion to the amount
which he left, or to his intellectual range, by virtue of the exquisite
quality of his technique.

1. Wordsworth's Poems.  Chosen and edited by Matthew Arnold.  London,

2. Poetry of Byron.  Chosen and arranged by Matthew Arnold.  London, 1881.


3. Shelley.  Julian and Maddalo, Prometheus Unbound, The Cenci, Lyrical

4. Landor.  Pericles and Aspasia.

5. Coleridge.  Table Talk, Notes on Shakspere, The Ancient Mariner,
Christabel, Love, Ode to France, Ode to the Departing Year, Kubla Khan,
Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni, Youth and Age, Frost at

6. De Quincey.  Confessions of an English Opium Eater, Flight of a Tartar
Tribe, Biographical Sketches.

7. Scott.  Waverley, Heart of Midlothian, Bride of Lammermoor, Rob Roy,
Antiquary, Marmion, Lady of the Lake.

8. Keats.  Hyperion, Eve of St. Agnes, Lyrical Pieces.

9. Mrs. Oliphant's Literary History of England, 18th-19th Centuries.





The literature of the past fifty years is too close to our eyes to
enable the critic to pronounce a final judgment, or the literary
historian to get a true perspective.  Many of the principal writers of
the time are still living, and many others have been dead but a few
years.  This concluding chapter, therefore, will be devoted to the
consideration of the few who stand forth, incontestably, as the leaders
of literary thought, and who seem likely, under all future changes of
fashion and taste, to remain representative of their generation.  As
regards _form_, the most striking fact in the history of the period
under review is the immense preponderance in its imaginative literature
of prose fiction, of the novel of real life.  The novel has become to
the solitary reader of to-day what the stage play was to the audiences
of Elisabeth's reign, or the periodical essay, like the _Tatlers_ and
_Spectators_, to the clubs and breakfast-tables of Queen Anne's.  And,
if its criticism of life is less concentrated and brilliant than the
drama gives, it is far {267} more searching and minute.  No period has
ever left in its literary records so complete a picture of its whole
society as the period which is just closing.  At any other time than
the present, the names of authors like Charlotte Bronte, Charles
Kingsley, and Charles Reade--names which are here merely mentioned in
passing--besides many others which want of space forbids us even to
mention--would be of capital importance.  As it is, we must limit our
review to the three acknowledged masters of modern English fiction,
Charles Dickens (1812-1870), William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863),
and "George Eliot" (Mary Ann Evans, 1819-1880).

It is sometimes helpful to reduce a great writer to his lowest term, in
order to see what the prevailing bent of his genius is.  This lowest
term may often be found in his early work, before experience of the
world has overlaid his original impulse with foreign accretions.
Dickens was much more than a humorist, Thackeray than a satirist, and
George Eliot than a moralist; but they had their starting-points
respectively in humor, in burlesque, and in strong ethical and
religious feeling.  Dickens began with a broadly comic series of
papers, contributed to the _Old Magazine_ and the _Evening Chronicle_,
and reprinted in book form, in 1836, as _Sketches by Boz_.  The success
of these suggested to a firm of publishers the preparation of a number
of similar sketches of the misadventures of cockney sportsmen, to
accompany plates by the {268} comic draughtsman, Mr. R. Seymour.  This
suggestion resulted in the _Pickwick Papers_, published in monthly
installments, in 1836-1837.  The series grew, under Dickens's hand,
into a continuous, though rather loosely strung narrative of the doings
of a set of characters, conceived with such exuberant and novel humor
that it took the public by storm, and raised its author at once to
fame.  _Pickwick_ is by no means Dickens's best, but it is his most
characteristic, and most popular, book.  At the time that he wrote
these early sketches he was a reporter for the _Morning Chronicle_.
His naturally acute powers of observation had been trained in this
pursuit to the utmost efficiency, and there always continued to be
about his descriptive writing a reportorial and newspaper air.  He had
the eye for effect, the sharp fidelity to detail, the instinct for
rapidly seizing upon and exaggerating the salient point, which are
developed by the requirements of modern journalism.  Dickens knew
London as no one else has ever known it, and, in particular, he knew
its hideous and grotesque recesses, with the strange developments of
human nature that abide there; slums like Tom-all-Alone's, in _Bleak
House_; the river-side haunts of Rogue Riderhood, in _Our Mutual
Friend_; as well as the old inns, like the "White Hart," and the "dusky
purlieus of the law."  As a man, his favorite occupation was walking
the streets, where, as a child, he had picked up the most valuable part
of his education.  His tramps about London--often after {269}
nightfall--sometimes extended to fifteen miles in a day.  He knew, too,
the shifts of poverty.  His father--some traits of whom are preserved
in Mr. Micawber--was imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea prison,
where his wife took lodging with him, while Charles, then a boy of ten,
was employed at six shillings a week to cover blacking-pots in Warner's
blacking warehouse.  The hardships and loneliness of this part of his
life are told under a thin disguise in Dickens's masterpiece, _David
Copperfield_, the most autobiographical of his novels.  From these
young experiences he gained that insight into the lives of the lower
classes, and that sympathy with children and with the poor which shine
out in his pathetic sketches of Little Nell, in _The Old Curiosity
Shop_, of Paul Dombey, of Poor Jo, in _Bleak House_, of "the
Marchioness," and a hundred other figures.

In _Oliver Twist_, contributed, during 1837-1838, to _Bentley's
Miscellany_, a monthly magazine of which Dickens was editor, he
produced his first regular novel.  In this story of the criminal
classes the author showed a tragic power which he had not hitherto
exhibited.  Thenceforward his career was a series of dazzling
successes.  It is impossible here to particularize his numerous novels,
sketches, short tales, and "Christmas Stories"--the latter a fashion
which he inaugurated, and which has produced a whole literature in
itself.  In _Nicholas Nickleby_, 1839; _Master Humphrey's Clock_, 1840;
_Martin Chuzzlewit_, 1844; _Dombey and Son_, 1848; {270} _David
Copperfield_, 1850; and _Bleak House_, 1853, there is no falling off in
strength.  The last named was, in some respects, and especially in the
skillful construction of the plot, his best novel.  In some of his
latest books, as _Great Expectations_, 1861, and _Our Mutual Friend_,
1865, there are signs of a decline.  This showed itself in an unnatural
exaggeration of characters and motives, and a painful straining after
humorous effects; faults, indeed, from which Dickens was never wholly
free.  There was a histrionic side to him, which came out in his
fondness for private theatricals, in which he exhibited remarkable
talent, and in the dramatic action which he introduced into the
delightful public readings from his works that he gave before vast
audiences all over the United Kingdom, and in his two visits to
America.  It is not surprising, either, to learn that upon the stage
his preference was for melodrama and farce.  His own serious writing
was always dangerously close to the melodramatic, and his humor to the
farcical.  There is much false art, bad taste, and even vulgarity in
Dickens.  He was never quite a gentleman, and never succeeded well in
drawing gentlemen or ladies.  In the region of low comedy he is easily
the most original, the most inexhaustible, the most wonderful of modern
humorists.  Creations such as Mrs. Nickleby, Mr. Micawber, Sam Weller,
Sairy Gamp, take rank with Falstaff and Dogberry; while many others,
like Dick Swiveller, Stiggins, Chadband, Mrs. Jellyby, and Julia Mills
are almost {271} equally good.  In the innumerable swarm of minor
characters with which he has enriched our comic literature, there is no
indistinctness.  Indeed, the objection that has been made to him is
that his characters are too distinct--that he puts labels on them; that
they are often mere personifications of a single trick of speech or
manner, which becomes tedious and unnatural by repetition; thus,
Grandfather Smallweed is always settling down into his cushion, and
having to be shaken up; Mr. Jellyby is always sitting with his head
against the wall; Peggotty is always bursting her buttons off, etc.,
etc.  As Dickens's humorous characters tend perpetually to run into
caricatures and grotesques, so his sentiment, from the same excess,
slops over too frequently into "gush," and into a too deliberate and
protracted attack upon the pity.  A favorite humorous device in his
style is a stately and roundabout way of telling a trivial incident as
where, for example, Mr. Roker "muttered certain unpleasant invocations
concerning his own eyes, limbs, and circulating fluids;" or where the
drunken man who is singing comic songs in the Fleet received from Mr.
Smangle "a gentle intimation, through the medium of the water-jug, that
his audience were not musically disposed."  This manner was original
with Dickens, though he may have taken a hint of it from the mock
heroic language of _Jonathan Wild_; but as practiced by a thousand
imitators, ever since, it has gradually become a burden.

It would not be the whole truth to say that the {272} difference
between the humor of Thackeray and Dickens is the same as between that
of Shakspere and Ben Jonson.  Yet it is true that the "humors" of Ben
Jonson have an analogy with the extremer instances of Dickens's
character sketches in this respect, namely: that they are both studies
of the eccentric, the abnormal, the whimsical, rather than of the
typical and universal--studies of manners, rather than of whole
characters.  And it is easily conceivable that, at no distant day, the
oddities of Captain Cuttle, Deportment Turveydrop, Mark Tapley, and
Newman Noggs will seem as far-fetched and impossible as those of
Captain Otter, Fastidious Brisk, and Sir Amorous La-Foole.

When Dickens was looking about for some one to take Seymour's place as
illustrator of Pickwick, Thackeray applied for the job, but without
success.  He was then a young man of twenty-five, and still hesitating
between art and literature.  He had begun to draw caricatures with his
pencil when a schoolboy at the Charter House, and to scribble them with
his pen when a student at Cambridge, editing _The Snob_, a weekly
under-graduate paper, and parodying the prize poem _Timbuctoo_ of his
contemporary at the university, Alfred Tennyson.  Then he went abroad
to study art, passing a season at Weimar, where he met Goethe and
filled the albums of the young Saxon ladies with caricatures; afterward
living, in the Latin Quarter at Paris, a Bohemian existence, studying
art in a desultory way, and seeing men and cities; {273} accumulating
portfolios full of sketches, but laying up stores of material to be
used afterward to greater advantage when he should settle upon his true
medium of expression.  By 1837, having lost his fortune of 500 pounds a
year in speculation and gambling, he began to contribute to _Fraser's_,
and thereafter to the _New Monthly_, _Cruikshank's Comic Almanac_,
_Punch_, and other periodicals, clever burlesques, art criticisms by
"Michael Angelo Titmarsh," _Yellow Plush Papers_, and all manner of
skits, satirical character sketches, and humorous tales, like the
_Great Hoggarty Diamond_ and the _Luck of Barry Lyndon_.  Some of these
were collected in the _Paris Sketch-Book_, 1840, and the _Irish
Sketch-Book_, 1843; but Thackeray was slow in winning recognition, and
it was not until the publication of his first great novel, _Vanity
Fair_, in monthly parts, during 1846-1848, that he achieved any thing
like the general reputation which Dickens had reached at a bound.
_Vanity Fair_ described itself, on its title-page, as "a novel without
a hero."  It was also a novel without a plot--in the sense in which
_Bleak House_ or _Nicholas Nickleby_ had a plot--and in that respect it
set the fashion for the latest school of realistic fiction, being a
transcript of life, without necessary beginning or end.  Indeed, one of
the pleasantest things to a reader of Thackeray is the way which his
characters have of re-appearing, as old acquaintances, in his different
books; just as, in real life, people drop out of mind and then turn
{274} up again in other years and places.  _Vanity Fair_ is Thackeray's
masterpiece, but it is not the best introduction to his writings.
There are no illusions in it, and, to a young reader fresh from Scott's
romances or Dickens's sympathetic extravagances, it will seem hard and
repellant.  But men who, like Thackeray, have seen life and tasted its
bitterness and felt its hollowness, know how to prize it.  Thackeray
does not merely expose the cant, the emptiness, the self-seeking, the
false pretenses, flunkeyism, and snobbery--the "mean admiration of mean
things"--in the great world of London society: his keen, unsparing
vision detects the base alloy in the purest natures.  There are no
"heroes" in his books, no perfect characters.  Even his good women,
such as Helen and Laura Pendennis, are capable of cruel injustice
toward less fortunate sisters, like little Fanny; and Amelia Sedley is
led, by blind feminine instinct, to snub and tyrannize over poor
Dobbin.  The shabby miseries of life, the numbing and belittling
influences of failure and poverty upon the most generous natures, are
the tragic themes which Thackeray handles by preference.  He has been
called a cynic, but the boyish playfulness of his humor and his kindly
spirit are incompatible with cynicism.  Charlotte Bronte said that
Fielding was the vulture and Thackeray the eagle.  The comparison would
have been truer if made between Swift and Thackeray.  Swift was a
cynic; his pen was driven by hate, but Thackeray's by love, and it was
not {275} in bitterness but in sadness that the latter laid bare the
wickedness of the world.  He was himself a thorough man of the world,
and he had that dislike for a display of feeling which characterizes
the modern Englishman.  But behind his satiric mask he concealed the
manliest tenderness, and a reverence for every thing in human nature
that is good and true.  Thackeray's other great novels are _Pendennis_,
1849; _Henry Esmond_, 1852; and _The Newcomes_, 1855--the last of which
contains his most lovable character, the pathetic and immortal figure
of Colonel Newcome, a creation worthy to stand, in its dignity and its
sublime weakness, by the side of Don Quixote.  It was alleged against
Thackeray that he made all his good characters, like Major Dobbin and
Amelia Sedley and Colonel Newcome, intellectually feeble, and his
brilliant characters, like Becky Sharp and Lord Steyne and Blanche
Amory, morally bad.  This is not entirely true, but the other
complaint--that his women are inferior to his men--is true in a general
way.  Somewhat inferior to his other novels were _The Virginians_,
1858, and _The Adventures of Philip_, 1862.  All of these were stories
of contemporary life, except _Henry Esmond_ and its sequel, _The
Virginians_, which, though not precisely historical fictions,
introduced historical figures, such as Washington and the Earl of
Peterborough.  Their period of action was the 18th century, and the
dialogue was a cunning imitation of the language of that time.
Thackeray was strongly {276} attracted by the 18th century.  His
literary teachers were Addison, Swift, Steele, Gay, Johnson,
Richardson, Goldsmith, Fielding, Smollett, and Sterne, and his special
master and model was Fielding.  He projected a history of the century,
and his studies in this kind took shape in his two charming series of
lectures on _The English Humorists_ and _The Four Georges_.  These he
delivered in England and in America, to which country he, like Dickens,
made two several visits.

Thackeray's genius was, perhaps, less astonishing than Dickens's, less
fertile, spontaneous, and inventive; but his art is sounder, and his
delineation of character more truthful.  After one has formed a taste
for his books, Dickens's sentiment will seem overdone, and much of his
humor will have the air of buffoonery.  Thackeray had the advantage in
another particular: he described the life of the upper classes, and
Dickens of the lower.  It may be true that the latter offers richer
material to the novelist, in the play of elementary passions and in
strong, native developments of character.  It is true, also, that
Thackeray approached "society" rather to satirize it than to set forth
its agreeableness.  Yet, after all, it is "the great world" which he
describes, that world upon which the broadening and refining processes
of a high civilization have done their utmost, and which, consequently,
must possess an intellectual interest superior to any thing in the life
of London thieves, traveling showmen, and coachees.  Thackeray is {277}
the equal of Swift as a satirist, of Dickens as a humorist, and of
Scott as a novelist.  The one element lacking in him--and which Scott
had in a high degree---is the poetic imagination.  "I have no brains
above my eyes," he said; "I describe what I see."  Hence there is
wanting in his creations that final charm which Shakspere's have.  For
what the eyes see is not all.

The great woman who wrote under the pen-name of George Eliot was a
humorist, too.  She had a rich, deep humor of her own, and a wit that
crystallized into sayings which are not epigrams, only because their
wisdom strikes more than their smartness.  But humor was not, as with
Thackeray and Dickens, her point of view.  A country girl, the daughter
of a land agent and surveyor at Nuneaton, in Warwickshire, her early
letters and journals exhibit a Calvinistic gravity and moral severity.
Later, when her truth to her convictions led her to renounce the
Christian belief, she carried into Positivism the same religious
earnestness, and wrote the one English hymn of the religion of humanity:

  "O, let me join the choir invisible," etc.

Her first published work was a translation of Strauss's _Leben Jesu_,
1846.  In 1851 she went to London and became one of the editors of the
Radical organ, the _Westminster Review_.  Here she formed a
connection--a marriage in all but the name--with George Henry Lewes,
who was, like {278} herself, a freethinker, and who published, among
other things, a _Biographical History of Philosophy_.  Lewes had also
written fiction, and it was at his suggestion that his wife undertook
story writing.  Her _Scenes of Clerical Life_ were contributed to
_Blackwood's Magazine_ for 1857, and published in book form in the
following year.  _Adam Bede_ followed in 1859, the _Mill on the Floss_
in 1860, _Silas Marner_ in 1861, _Romola_ in 1863, _Felix Holt_ in
1866, and _Middlemarch_ in 1872.  All of these, except _Romola_, are
tales of provincial, and largely of domestic, life in the midland
counties.  _Romola_ is a historical novel, the scene of which is
Florence, in the 15th century, the Florence of Macchiavelli and of
Savonarola.  George Eliot's method was very different from that of
Thackeray or Dickens.  She did not crowd her canvas with the swarming
life of cities.  Her figures are comparatively few, and they are
selected from the middle-class families of rural parishes or small
towns, amid that atmosphere of "fine old leisure," whose disappearance
she lamented.  Her drama is a still life drama, intensely and
profoundly inward.  Character is the stuff that she works in, and she
deals with it more subtly than Thackeray.  With him the tragedy is
produced by the pressure of society and its false standards upon the
individual; with her, by the malign influence of individuals upon one
another.  She watches "the stealthy convergence of human fates," the
intersection at various angles of the planes of character, the power
{279} that the lower nature has to thwart, stupefy, or corrupt the
higher, which has become entangled with it in the mesh of destiny.  At
the bottom of every one of her stories, there is a problem of the
conscience or the intellect.  In this respect she resembles Hawthorne,
though she is not, like him, a romancer, but a realist.

There is a melancholy philosophy in her books, most of which are tales
of failure or frustration.  The _Mill on the Floss_ contains a large
element of autobiography, and its heroine, Maggie Tulliver, is,
perhaps, her idealized self.  Her aspirations after a fuller and nobler
existence are condemned to struggle against the resistance of a narrow,
provincial environment, and the pressure of untoward fates.  She is
tempted to seek an escape even through a desperate throwing off of
moral obligations, and is driven back to her duty only to die by a
sudden stroke of destiny.  "Life is a bad business," wrote George
Eliot, in a letter to a friend, "and we must make the most of it."
_Adam Bede_ is, in construction, the most perfect of her novels, and
Silas Marner of her shorter stories.  Her analytic habit gained more
and more upon her as she wrote.  _Middlemarch_, in some respects her
greatest book, lacks the unity of her earlier novels, and the story
tends to become subordinate to the working out of character stories and
social problems.  The philosophic speculations, which she shared with
her husband, were seemingly unfavorable to her artistic growth, a
circumstance which {280} comes apparent in her last novel, _Daniel
Deronda_, 1877.  Finally in the _Impressions of Theophrastus Such_,
1879, she abandoned narrative altogether, and recurred to that type of
"character" books which we have met, as a flourishing department of
literature in the 17th century, represented by such works as Earle's
_Microcosmographie_ and Fuller's _Holy and Profane State_.  The moral
of George Eliot's writings is not obtruded.  She never made the
artistic mistake of writing a novel of purpose, or what the Germans
call a _tendenz-roman_; as Dickens did, for example, when he attacked
imprisonment for debt, in _Pickwick_; the poor laws, in _Oliver Twist_;
the Court of Chancery, in _Bleak House_; and the Circumlocution office,
in _Little Dorrit_.

Next to the novel, the essay has been the most overflowing literary
form used by the writers of this generation--a form, characteristic, it
may be, of an age which "lectures, not creates."  It is not the essay
of Bacon, nor yet of Addison, nor of Lamb, but attempts a complete
treatment.  Indeed, many longish books, like Carlyle's _Heroes and Hero
Worship_ and Ruskin's _Modern Painters_, are, in spirit, rather
literary essays than formal treatises.  The most popular essayist and
historian of his time was Thomas Babington Macaulay, (1800-1859), an
active and versatile man, who won splendid success in many fields of
labor.  He was prominent in public life as one of the leading orators
and writers of the Whig party.  He sat many times in the House of
Commons, as member for Calne, for Leeds, and {281} for Edinburgh, and
took a distinguished part in the debates on the Reform bill of 1832.
He held office in several Whig governments, and during his four years'
service in British India, as member of the Supreme Council of Calcutta,
he did valuable work in promoting education in that province, and in
codifying the Indian penal law.  After his return to England, and
especially after the publication of his _History of England from The
Accession of James II._, honors and appointments of all kinds were
showered upon him.  In 1857 he was raised to the peerage as Baron
Macaulay of Rothley.

Macaulay's equipment, as a writer on historical and biographical
subjects, was, in some points, unique.  His reading was prodigious, and
his memory so tenacious, that it was said, with but little
exaggeration, that he never forgot any thing that he had read.  He
could repeat the whole of _Paradise Lost_ by heart, and thought it
probable that he could rewrite _Sir Charles Grandison_ from memory.  In
his books, in his speeches in the House of Commons, and in private
conversation--for he was an eager and fluent talker, running on often
for hours at a stretch--he was never at a loss to fortify and
illustrate his positions by citation after citation of dates, names,
facts of all kinds, and passages quoted _verbatim_ from his
multifarious reading.  The first of Macaulay's writings to attract
general notice was his article on _Milton_, printed in the August
number of the _Edinburgh Review_, for 1825.  The editor, Lord Jeffrey,
in {282} acknowledging the receipt of the MS., wrote to his new
contributor, "The more I think, the less I can conceive where you
picked up that style."  That celebrated style--about which so much has
since been written--was an index to the mental character of its owner.
Macaulay was of a confident, sanguine, impetuous nature.  He had great
common sense, and he saw what he saw quickly and clearly, but he did
not see very far below the surface.  He wrote with the conviction of an
advocate, and the easy omniscience of a man whose learning is really
nothing more than "general information," raised to a very high power,
rather than with the subtle penetration of an original or truly
philosophic intellect, like Coleridge's or De Quincey's.  He always had
at hand explanations of events or of characters, which were admirably
easy and simple--too simple, indeed, for the complicated phenomena
which they professed to explain.  His style was clear, animated, showy,
and even its faults were of an exciting kind.  It was his habit to give
piquancy to his writing by putting things concretely.  Thus, instead of
saying, in general terms--as Hume or Gibbon might have done--that the
Normans and Saxons began to mingle about 1200, he says: "The great
grandsons of those who had fought under William and the great grandsons
of those who had fought under Harold began to draw near to each other."
Macaulay was a great scene painter, who neglected delicate truths of
detail for exaggerated distemper effects.  He used the {283} rhetorical
machinery of climax and hyperbole for all that it was worth, and he
"made points"--as in his essay on _Bacon_--by creating antithesis.  In
his _History of England_, he inaugurated the picturesque method of
historical writing.  The book was as fascinating as any novel.
Macaulay, like Scott, had the historic imagination, though his method
of turning history into romance was very different from Scott's.  Among
his essays, the best are those which, like the ones on _Lord Clive_,
_Warren Hastings_, and _Frederick the Great_, deal with historical
subjects; or those which deal with literary subjects under their public
historic relations, such as the essays on _Addison_, _Bunyan_, and _The
Comic Dramatists of the Restoration_.  "I have never written a page of
criticism on poetry, or the fine arts," wrote Macaulay, "which I would
not burn if I had the power."  Nevertheless his own _Lays of Ancient
Rome_, 1842, are good, stirring verse of the emphatic and declamatory
kind, though their quality may be rather rhetorical than poetic.

Our critical time has not forborne to criticize itself, and perhaps the
writer who impressed himself most strongly upon his generation was the
one who railed most desperately against the "spirit of the age."
Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) was occupied between 1822 and 1830 chiefly
in imparting to the British public a knowledge of German literature.
He published, among other things, a _Life of Schiller_, a translation
of Goethe's _Wilhelm Meister_, and two volumes of translations from the
German {284} romancers--Tieck, Hoffmann, Richter, and Fouque, and
contributed to the _Edinburgh_ and _Foreign Review_, articles on
Goethe, Werner, Novalis, Richter, German playwrights, the _Nibelungen
Lied_, etc.  His own diction became more and more tinctured with
Germanisms.  There was something Gothic in his taste, which was
attracted by the lawless, the grotesque, and the whimsical in the
writings of Jean Paul Richter.  His favorite among English humorists
was Sterne, who has a share of these same qualities.  He spoke
disparagingly of "the sensuous literature of the Greeks," and preferred
the Norse to the Hellenic mythology.  Even in his admirable critical
essays on Burns, on Richter, on Scott, Diderot, and Voltaire,
which are free from his later mannerism--written in English, and
not in Carlylese--his sense of spirit is always more lively than
his sense of form.  He finally became so impatient of art as to
maintain--half-seriously--the paradox that Shakspere would have
done better to write in prose.  In three of these early essays--on
the _Signs of the Times_, 1829; on _History_, 1830; and on
_Characteristics_, 1831--are to be found the germs of all his later
writings.  The first of these was an arraignment of the mechanical
spirit of the age.  In every province of thought he discovered too
great a reliance upon systems, institutions, machinery, instead of upon
men.  Thus, in religion, we have Bible Societies, "machines for
converting the heathen."  "In defect of Raphaels and Angelos and
Mozarts, we have royal {285} academies of painting, sculpture, music."
In like manner, he complains, government is a machine.  "Its duties and
faults are not those of a father, but of an active parish-constable."
Against the "police theory," as distinguished from the "paternal"
theory of government, Carlyle protested with ever-shriller iteration.
In _Chartism_, 1839; _Past and Present_, 1843; and _Latter-day
Pamphlets_, 1850, he denounced this _laissez faire_ idea.  The business
of government, he repeated, is to govern; but this view makes it its
business to refrain from governing.  He fought most fiercely against
the conclusions of political economy, "the dismal science," which, he
said, affirmed that men were guided exclusively by their stomachs.  He
protested, too, against the Utilitarians, followers of Bentham and
Mill, with their "greatest happiness principle," which reduced virtue
to a profit-and-loss account.  Carlyle took issue with modern
liberalism; he ridiculed the self-gratulation of the time, all the talk
about progress of the species, unexampled prosperity, etc.  But he was
reactionary without being conservative.  He had studied the French
Revolution, and he saw the fateful, irresistible approach of democracy.
He had no faith in government "by counting noses," and he hated talking
parliaments; but neither did he put trust in an aristocracy that spent
its time in "preserving the game."  What he wanted was a great
individual ruler, a real king or hero; and this doctrine he set forth
afterward most fully in _Hero Worship_, 1841, and {286} illustrated in
his lives of representative heroes, such as his _Cromwell's Letters and
Speeches_, 1845, and his great _History of Frederick the Great_,
1858-1865.  Cromwell and Frederick were well enough; but as Carlyle
grew older, his admiration for mere force grew, and his latest hero was
none other than that infamous Dr. Francia, the South American dictator,
whose career of bloody and crafty crime horrified the civilized world.

The essay on _History_ was a protest against the scientific view of
history which attempts to explain away and account for the wonderful.
"Wonder," he wrote in _Sartor Resartus_, "is the basis of all worship."
He defined history as "the essence of innumerable biographies."  "Mr.
Carlyle," said the Italian patriot, Mazzini, "comprehends only the
individual.  The nationality of Italy is, in his eyes, the glory of
having produced Dante and Christopher Columbus."  This trait comes out
in his greatest book, _The French Revolution_, 1837, which is a mighty
tragedy, enacted by a few leading characters, Mirabeau, Danton,
Napoleon.  He loved to emphasize the superiority of history over
fiction as dramatic material.  The third of the three essays mentioned
was a Jeremiad on the morbid self-consciousness of the age, which shows
itself in religion and philosophy, as skepticism and introspective
metaphysics; and in literature, as sentimentalism, and "view-hunting."

But Carlyle's epoch-making book was _Sartor Resartus_ (The Tailor
Retailored), published in _Fraser's {287} Magazine_ for 1833-1834, and
first reprinted in book form in America.  This was a satire upon shams,
conventions, the disguises which overlie the most spiritual realities
of the soul.  It purported to be the life and "clothes-philosophy" of a
certain Diogenes Teufelsdroeckh, Professor der Allerlei Wissenschaft--of
things in general--in the University of Weissnichtwo.  "Society," said
Carlyle, "is founded upon cloth," following the suggestions of Lear's
speech to the naked bedlam beggar: "Thou art the thing itself:
unaccommodated man is no more but such a poor, bare, forked animal as
thou art;" and borrowing also, perhaps, an ironical hint from a
paragraph in Swift's _Tale of a Tub_: "A sect was established who held
the universe to be a large suit of clothes. . . .  If certain ermines
or furs be placed in a certain position, we style them a judge; and so
an apt conjunction of lawn and black satin we entitle a bishop."  In
_Sartor Resartus_ Carlyle let himself go.  It was willful, uncouth,
amorphous, titanic.  There was something monstrous in the combination,
the hot heart of the Scot married to the transcendental dream of
Germany.  It was not English, said the reviewers; it was not sense; it
was disfigured by obscurity and "mysticism."  Nevertheless even the
thin-witted and the dry-witted had to acknowledge the powerful beauty
of many chapters and passages, rich with humor, eloquence, poetry,
deep-hearted tenderness, or passionate scorn.

Carlyle was a voracious reader, and the plunder {288} of whole
literatures is strewn over his pages.  He flung about the resources of
the language with a giant's strength, and made new words at every turn.
The concreteness and the swarming fertility of his mind are evidenced
by his enormous vocabulary, computed greatly to exceed Shakspere's, or
any other single writer's in the English tongue.  His style lacks the
crowning grace of simplicity and repose.  It astonishes, but it also

Carlyle's influence has consisted more in his attitude than in any
special truth which he has preached.  It has been the influence of a
moralist, of a practical, rather than a speculative, philosopher.  "The
end of man," he wrote, "is an action, not a thought."  He has not been
able to persuade the time that it is going wrong, but his criticisms
have been wholesomely corrective of its self-conceit.  In a democratic
age he has insisted upon the undemocratic virtues of obedience,
silence, and reverence.  _Ehrfurcht_--reverence--the text of his
address to the students of Edinburgh University, in 1866, is the last
word of his philosophy.

In 1830 Alfred Tennyson (1809- ----), a young graduate of Cambridge,
published a thin duodecimo of 154 pages, entitled _Poems, Chiefly
Lyrical_.  The pieces in this little volume, like the _Sleeping
Beauty_, _Ode to Memory_, and _Recollections of the Arabian Nights_,
were full of color, fragrance, melody; but they had a dream-like
character, and were without definite theme, resembling an artist's
studies, or {289} exercises in music--a few touches of the brush, a few
sweet chords, but no aria.  A number of them--_Claribel_, _Lilian_,
_Adeline_, _Isabel_, _Mariana_, _Madeline_--were sketches of women; not
character portraits, like Browning's _Men and Women_, but impressions
of temperament, of delicately, differentiated types of feminine beauty.
In _Mariana_, expanded from a hint of the forsaken maid, in Shakspere's
_Measure for Measure_, "Mariana at the moated grange," the poet showed
an art then peculiar, but since grown familiar, of heightening the
central feeling by landscape accessories.  The level waste, the
stagnant sluices, the neglected garden, the wind in the single poplar,
re-enforce, by their monotonous sympathy, the loneliness, the hopeless
waiting and weariness of life in the one human figure of the poem.  In
_Mariana_, the _Ode to Memory_, and the _Dying Swan_, it was the fens
of Cambridge and of his native Lincolnshire that furnished Tennyson's

  "Stretched wide and wild, the waste enormous marsh,
  Where from the frequent bridge,
  Like emblems of infinity,
  The trenched waters run from sky to sky."

A second collection, published in 1833, exhibited a greater scope and
variety, but was still in his earlier manner.  The studies of feminine
types were continued in _Margaret_, _Fatima_, _Eleanore_, _Mariana in
the South_, and _A Dream of Fair Women_, suggested by Chaucer's _Legend
of Good {290} Women_.  In the _Lady of Shalott_, the poet first touched
the Arthurian legends.  The subject is the same as that of _Elaine_, in
the _Idylls of the King_, but the treatment is shadowy, and even
allegorical.  In _Oenone_ and the _Lotus Eaters_, he handled Homeric
subjects, but in a romantic fashion, which contrasts markedly with the
style of his later pieces, _Ulysses_ and _Tithonus_.  These last have
the true classic severity, and are among the noblest specimens of
weighty and sonorous blank verse in modern poetry.  In general,
Tennyson's art is unclassical.  It is rich, ornate, composite, not
statuesque, so much as picturesque.  He is a great painter, and the
critics complain that in passages calling for movement and action--a
battle, a tournament, or the like--his figures stand still as in a
tableau; and they contrast such passages unfavorably with scenes of the
same kind in Scott, and with Browning's spirited ballad, _How we
brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix_.  In the _Palace of Art_,
these elaborate pictorial effects were combined with allegory; in the
_Lotus Eaters_, with that expressive treatment of landscape, noted in
_Mariana_; the lotus land, "in which it seemed always afternoon,"
reflecting and promoting the enchanted indolence of the heroes.  Two of
the pieces in this 1833 volume, the _May Queen_ and the _Miller's
Daughter_, were Tennyson's first poems of the affections, and as
ballads of simple, rustic life, they anticipated his more perfect idyls
in blank verse, such as _Dora_, the _Brook_, _Edwin Morris_, and {291}
the _Gardener's Daughter_.  The songs in the _Miller's Daughter_ had a
more spontaneous, lyrical movement than any thing that he had yet
published, and foretokened the lovely songs which interlude the
divisions of the _Princess_, the famous _Bugle Song_, the no-less
famous _Cradle Song_, and the rest.  In 1833 Tennyson's friend, Arthur
Hallam, died, and the effect of this great sorrow upon the poet was to
deepen and strengthen the character of his genius.  It turned his mind
in upon itself, and set it brooding over questions which his poetry had
so far left untouched; the meaning of life and death, the uses of
adversity, the future of the race, the immortality of the soul, and the
dealings of God with mankind.

  "Thou madest Death; and, lo, thy foot
  Is on the skull which thou hast made."

His elegy on Hallam, _In Memoriam_, was not published till 1850.  He
kept it by him all those years, adding section after section, gathering
up into it whatever reflections crystallized about its central theme.
It is his most intellectual and most individual work, a great song of
sorrow and consolation.  In 1842 he published a third collection of
poems, among which were _Locksley Hall_, displaying a new strength of
passion; _Ulysses_, suggested by a passage in Dante: pieces of a
speculative cast, like the _Two Voices_ and the _Vision of Sin_; the
song _Break, Break, Break_, which preluded _In Memoriam_; and, lastly,
some additional {292} gropings toward the subject of the Arthurian
romance, such as _Sir Galahad_, _Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere_ and
_Morte d' Arthur_.  The last was in blank verse, and, as afterward
incorporated in the _Passing of Arthur_, forms one of the best passages
in the _Idylls of the King_.  The _Princess, a Medley_, published in
1849, represents the eclectic character of Tennyson's art; a medieval
tale with an admixture of modern sentiment, and with the very modern
problem of woman's sphere for its theme.  The first four _Idylls of the
King_, 1859, with those since added, constitute, when taken together,
an epic poem on the old story of King Arthur.  Tennyson went to
Malory's _Morte d' Arthur_ for his material, but the outline of the
first idyl, _Enid_, was taken from Lady Charlotte Guest's translation
of the Welsh _Mabinogion_.  In the idyl of _Guinevere_ Tennyson's
genius reached its high-water mark.  The interview between Arthur and
his fallen queen is marked by a moral sublimity and a tragic intensity
which move the soul as nobly as any scene in modern literature.  Here,
at least, the art is pure and not "decorated;" the effect is produced
by the simplest means, and all is just, natural, and grand.  _Maud_--a
love novel in verse--published in 1855, and considerably enlarged in
1856, had great sweetness and beauty, particularly in its lyrical
portions, but it was uneven in execution, imperfect in design, and
marred by lapses into mawkishness and excesses in language.  Since 1860
Tennyson has added little of permanent {293} value to his work.  His
dramatic experiments, like _Queen Mary_, are not, on the whole,
successful, though it would be unjust to deny dramatic power to the
poet who has written, upon one hand, _Guinevere_ and the _Passing of
Arthur_, and upon the other the homely, dialectic monologue of the
_Northern Farmer_.

When we tire of Tennyson's smooth perfection, of an art that is over
exquisite, and a beauty that is well-nigh too beautiful, and crave a
rougher touch, and a meaning that will not yield itself too readily, we
turn to the thorny pages of his great contemporary, Robert Browning
(1812- ----).  Dr. Holmes says that Tennyson is white meat and Browning
is dark meat.  A masculine taste, it is inferred, is shown in a
preference for the gamier flavor.  Browning makes us think; his poems
are puzzles, and furnish business for "Browning Societies."  There are
no Tennyson societies, because Tennyson is his own interpreter.
Intellect in a poet may display itself quite as properly in the
construction of his poem as in its content; we value a building for its
architecture, and not entirely for the amount of timber in it.
Browning's thought never wears so thin as Tennyson's sometimes does in
his latest verse, where the trick of his style goes on of itself with
nothing behind it.  Tennyson, at his worst, is weak.  Browning, when
not at his best, is hoarse.  Hoarseness, in itself, is no sign of
strength.  In Browning, however, the failure is in art, not in thought.


He chooses his subjects from abnormal character types, such as are
presented, for example, in _Caliban upon Setebos_, the _Grammarian's
Funeral_, _My Last Duchess_, and _Mr. Sludge, the Medium_.  These are
all psychological studies, in which the poet gets into the inner
consciousness of a monster, a pedant, a criminal, and a quack, and
gives their point of view.  They are dramatic soliloquies; but the
poet's self-identification with each of his creations, in turn, remains
incomplete.  His curious, analytic observation, his way of looking at
the soul from outside, gives a doubleness to the monologues in his
_Dramatic Lyrics_, 1845, _Men and Women_, 1855, _Dramatis Personae_,
1864, and other collections of the kind.  The words are the words of
Caliban or Mr. Sludge; but the voice is the voice of Robert Browning.
His first complete poem, _Paracelsus_, 1835, aimed to give the true
inwardness of the career of the famous 16th century doctor, whose name
became a synonym with charlatan.  His second, _Sordello_, 1840, traced
the struggles of an Italian poet who lived before Dante, and could not
reconcile his life with his art.  _Paracelsus_ was hard, but _Sordello_
was incomprehensible.  Mr. Browning has denied that he is ever
perversely crabbed or obscure.  Every great artist must be allowed to
say things in his own way, and obscurity has its artistic uses, as the
Gothic builders knew.  But there are two kinds of obscurity in
literature.  One is inseparable from the subtlety and difficulty of the
thought or the compression {295} and pregnant indirectness of the
phrase.  Instances of this occur in the clear deeps of Dante,
Shakspere, and Goethe.  The other comes from a vice of style, a
willfully enigmatic and unnatural way of expressing thought.  Both
kinds of obscurity exist in Browning.  He is a deep and subtle thinker;
but he is also a very eccentric writer, abrupt, harsh, disjointed.  It
has been well said that the reader of Browning learns a new dialect.
But one need not grudge the labor that is rewarded with an intellectual
pleasure so peculiar and so stimulating.  The odd, grotesque impression
made by his poetry arises, in part, from his desire to use the artistic
values of ugliness, as well as of obscurity; to avoid the shallow
prettiness that comes from blinking the disagreeable truth: not to
leave the saltness out of the sea.  Whenever he emerges into clearness,
as he does in hundreds of places, he is a poet of great qualities.
There are a fire and a swing in his _Cavalier Tunes_, and in pieces
like the _Glove and the Lost Leader_; and humor in such ballads as the
_Pied Piper of Hamelin_ and the _Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister_,
which appeal to the most conservative reader.  He seldom deals directly
in the pathetic, but now and then, as in _Evelyn Hope_, the _Last Ride
Together_, or the _Incident of the French Camp_, a tenderness comes
over the strong verse

          "as sheathes
  A film the mother eagle's eye,
    When her bruised eaglet breathes."

{296} Perhaps the most astonishing example of Browning's mental vigor
is the huge composition, entitled _The Ring and the Book_, 1868, a
narrative poem in twenty-one thousand lines, in which the same story is
repeated eleven times in eleven different ways.  It is the story of a
criminal trial which occurred at Rome about 1700, the trial of one
Count Guido for the murder of his young wife.  First the poet tells the
tale himself; then he tells what one-half of the world says and what
the other; then he gives the deposition of the dying girl, the
testimony of witnesses, the speech made by the count in his own
defense, the arguments of counsel, etc., and, finally, the judgment of
the pope.  So wonderful are Browning's resources in casuistry, and so
cunningly does he ravel the intricate motives at play in this tragedy
and lay bare the secrets of the heart, that the interest increases at
each repetition of the tale.  He studied the Middle Age carefully, not
for its picturesque externals, its feudalisms, chivalries, and the
like; but because he found it a rich quarry of spiritual monstrosities,
strange outcroppings of fanaticism, superstition, and moral and mental
distortion of all shapes.  It furnished him especially with a great
variety of ecclesiastical types, such as are painted in _Fra Lippo
Lippi_, _Bishop Blougram's Apology_, and _The Bishop Orders his Tomb in
St. Praxed's Church_.

Browning's dramatic instinct has always attracted him to the stage.
His tragedy, _Stratford_ (1837), {297} was written for Macready, and
put on at Covent Garden Theater, but without pronounced success.  He
has written many fine dramatic poems, like _Pippa Passes_, _Colombo's
Birthday_, and _In a Balcony_; and at least two good acting plays,
_Luria_ and _A Blot in the Scutcheon_.  The last named has recently
been given to the American public, with Lawrence Barrett's careful and
intelligent presentation of the leading role.  The motive of the
tragedy is somewhat strained and fantastic, but it is, notwithstanding,
very effective on the stage.  It gives one an unwonted thrill to listen
to a play, by a living English writer, which is really literature.  One
gets a faint idea of what it must have been to assist at the first
night of _Hamlet_.

1. Dickens.  Pickwick Papers, Nicholas Nickleby, David Copperfield,
Bleak House, Tale of Two Cities.

2. Thackeray.  Vanity Fair, Pendennis, Henry Esmond, The Newcomes, The
Four Georges.

3. George Eliot.  Scenes of Clerical Life, Mill on the Floss, Silas
Marner, Romola, Adam Bede, Middlemarch.

4. Macaulay.  Essays, Lays of Ancient Rome.

5. Carlyle.  Sartor Resartus, French Revolution, Essays on History,
Signs of the Times, Characteristics, Burns, Scott, Voltaire, and Goethe.

6. The Works of Alfred Tennyson (6 vols.).  London: Strahan & Co., 1872.


7. Selections from the Poetical Works of Robert Browning.  (2 vols.)
London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1880.

8. E. C. Stedman's Victorian Poets.

9. Henry Morley's English Literature in the Reign of Victoria.
(Tauchnitz Series.)





Miracle plays, rude dramatic representations of the chief events in
Scripture history, were used for popular instruction before the invention
of printing.  In England they began as early as the twelfth century.
Moral plays, or moralities, were of the same origin, though dating from
the fifteenth century.  These were somewhat more refined than the miracle
plays, and usually set forth the excellence of the virtues, such as
truth, mercy, and the like.  Both miracle and moral plays were under the
conduct of the clergy.

John Bale (1495-1563) was Bishop of Ossory, and wrote much for popular
reform.  He was the author of nineteen miracle plays.  Lord Edward
Herbert, of Cherbury (1581-1648), wrote a deistical work, _De Religione
Gentilium_, the first of that school of writers which later appeared in
Bolingbroke.  John Spotiswood (1565-1639), Archbishop of St. Andrews and
afterward Chancellor of Scotland, wrote a voluminous _History of the
Church of Scotland_.  George Sandys (1577-1643), {300} distinguished also
as one of the earliest literary characters in America, wrote metrical
versions of several of the poetical books of the Bible, and also a
tragedy called _Christ's Passion_.

John Knox (1505-1572), the great Scotch reformer and polemic, while more
prominent as the preacher and spokesman of the Scotch Reformation, wrote
_First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regimen of Women_
(1558), and the _Historie of the Reformation of Religion within the
Realme of Scotland_, published after his death.  John Jewel (1522-1571)
wrote in Latin his _Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae_.  William Whittingham
(1524-1589), who succeeded Knox as pastor of the English Church at
Geneva, aided in making the Genevan Version of the Bible and also
co-operated in the Sternhold and Hopkins translation of the Psalms.

John Fox (1517-1587) was the author of the _Book of Martyrs_, whose full
title was _Acts and Monuments of these Latter and Perilous Days, Touching
Matters of the Church_.  An abridgment of the work has had a very wide
circulation.  John Aylmer (1521-1594) replied to Knox's _First Blast of
the Trumpet_ in a work called _An Harbor for Faithful and True Subjects_.
Nicholas Sanders (1527-1580), a Roman Catholic professor of Oxford, wrote
_The Rock of the Church_, a defense of the primacy of Peter and the
Bishops of Rome.  Robert Parsons (1546-1610), a Jesuit, wrote several
works in advocacy of Roman Catholicism and some political tracts.


John Rainolds (1549-1607), a learned Hebraist of Oxford, wrote many
ecclesiastical works in Latin and English.  He was a chief promoter of
King James's Version of the Bible.  Miles Smith, (died 1624), Thomas
Bilson (1536-1616), John Boys (1560-1643), and George Abbot (1562-1633),
Archbishop of Canterbury, were all co-workers on the King James
translation of the Scriptures.

Next in importance to the English Bible in its effect upon literature
stands the English Prayer Book, which is the rich mosaic of many minds.
It came through _The Prymer_ of the fourteenth century, and contained the
more fundamental and familiar portions of the _Book of Common Prayer_,
such as the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Litany, and the
Apostles' Creed.  This compilation differed in form and somewhat in
content in the different dioceses in England, and was partly in Latin and
partly in English.  In 1542 an attempt was made to produce a common form
for all England and to have it entirely in English.  The Committee of
Convocation, who had the work in charge, were prevented from making it
complete through the refusal of Henry VIII to continue the approval which
he had given to the appointment of the committee.  However, under Edward
VI a commission, headed by Archbishop Cranmer, carried their work
through, and it was accepted and its use made compulsory by Parliament.
It was published in 1549 as the _First Prayer Book of Edward VI_.  Three
years later the _Second Prayer {302} Book of Edward VI_ was issued, it
being a revision of the First, also under the shaping hand of Cranmer.
The _Prayer Book_ received its final revision and substantially its
present form in the reign of Elizabeth, in 1559, although in 1662 there
was added to the Morning and Evening Prayer a Collection of Prayers and
Thanksgivings upon Several Occasions.  Gathering thus through three
centuries the choice treasures of confession and devotion of the strong
and reverent English nation, it has been a large element in the literary
training, not only of communicants in the Anglican, the Episcopal, and
the Methodist Churches, but, in a measure, also of those who have
received their religious instruction and have worshiped in other branches
of the Protestant Church.

The work of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster (1643-1649),
particularly the _Confession of Faith_, and the _Shorter Catechism_,
became, as specimens of strong and pure English, potent factors in the
intellectual and literary discipline of the Presbyterians in all parts of
the world.

The modern psalms and hymns, or the simplified and popularized forms of
the earlier and mediaeval worship, have had vastly to do with the daily
thought and education of the people into whose life they have brought not
only increase of lofty devotion but also a positive and stimulative

Foremost of these collections was that made by Thomas Sternhold, John
Hopkins, and others, and {303} known as the _Psalter of Sternhold and
Hopkins_, published in 1562.  Francis Rouse made a version in 1645,
which, after revision, was adopted in 1649, and largely used by the
Scotch Church.  A new version was that by Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady,
which appeared in 1696, and has since been called the _Psalter of Tate
and Brady_.  The first English hymn book adapted for public worship was
that of Isaac Watts, appearing about 1709, although several minor
collections and individual productions had preceded Watts, among which
should be mentioned those of Joseph Stennett, John Mason, and the fine
hymns of Bishop Ken and Joseph Addison.

A little later the prolific and spiritual Charles Wesley, aided by the
somewhat stricter taste of his more celebrated brother, John, began
(1739) his wonderful series of published hymns, which, together with
those of Watts, have since formed the larger portion of the Protestant
hymnody of the world.  Others of the eighteenth century who have made
contributions to the sacred lyrics of the Church are John Byrom
(1691-1763), Philip Doddridge (1702-1751), Joseph Hart (1712-1768), Anne
Steele (1716-1778), Benjamin Beddome (1717-1795), John Cennick
(1717-1755), Thomas Olivers (1725-1799), Joseph Grigg (1728-1768),
Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778), and Edward Perronet (died 1792).

Approaching our own time, the ranks of our hymn writers include James
Montgomery {304} (1771-1854), whose _Christian Psalmist_ was published in
1825, Thomas Kelly, of Dublin (1769-1855); Harriet Auber (1773-1832),
Reginald Heber (1783-1826), Sir Robert Grant (1785-1838), Josiah Conder
(1789-1855), Charlotte Elliott (1789-1871), Sir John Bowring (1792-1872),
Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847), John Keble (1792-1866), whose _Christian
Year_ came out in 1827; John H. Newman (1801-1890), Sarah Flower Adams
(1805-1849), and Horatius Bonar (1808-1869).

Richard Mant (1776-1848), Henry Alford (1810-1871), F. W. Faber
(1815-1863), John Mason Neale (1818-1866), Miss Catherine Winkworth (born
1829), and some others, have given many beautiful and stirring
translations from the Latin and German hymns of the ancient and mediaeval

Theological writers of the middle of the seventeenth century are
numerous.  Chief of those belonging to the Anglican Church may be named
Joseph Hall, Bishop of Norwich (1574-1656), whose _Episcopacy by Divine
Right_ was replied to in _Smectymnus_, the joint production of five
dissenting divines: Stephen Marshal, Edward Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew
Newcomer, and William Spurston; James Ussher (1580-1656), a man of vast
literary learning and most known by his _Sacred Chronology_, published
after his death; Thomas Fuller and Jeremy Taylor, mentioned in a previous
chapter; John Cosin (1594-1672), who wrote chiefly devotional treatises;
William Chillingworth {305} (1602-1664), whose _Religion of Protestants_
has had a wide circulation; John Pearson (1612-1686), whose _Exposition
of the Creed_ became a standard; Ralph Cudworth (1617-1688), whose
_Intellectual System of the Universe_ dealt a stunning blow to the
atheism of his day, and Isaac Barrow (1630-1677), the learned
vice-chancellor of Cambridge, wit, mathematician, and theologian all in
one, who left a rich legacy in his _Sermons_.

Of the Non-conforming authors deserving notice Richard Baxter (1615-1691)
is the most voluminous, if not also the most luminous.  Controversy
engaged his pen almost constantly, but his most permanent works were his
_Call to the Unconverted_ and _The Saints' Everlasting Rest_.  John Owen
(1616-1683) was a leading Puritan writer, and under Cromwell was
vice-chancellor of Oxford University.  His _Commentary on the Epistle to
the Hebrews_ and his book on _The Holy Spirit_ are still in use and
highly prized.  His pen was strong rather than elegant.  John Bunyan's
immortal allegory throws a halo on universal literature.  John Howe
(1630-1705), the chief author among the Puritans, wrote many strong
works, among which of special note are _The Living Temple_ and _The
Office and Work of the Holy Spirit_.  He was Cromwell's chaplain.

The spiritual writings of Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661), the Scotch
divine; the _Annotations on the Psalms_ by Henry Ainsworth (died 1662),
an Independent, who was an exile in Holland for {306} conscience' sake;
the expository writings of Thomas Manton (1620-1677); the _Synopsis_ of
Matthew Poole (1624-1679), later abridged into his celebrated
_Annotations upon the Bible_; the sermons of Stephen Charnock
(1628-1680), particularly the one on "The Divine Attributes;" and _An
Alarm to Unconverted Sinners_, by Joseph Alleine (1633-1688), which has
had an immense circulation, form a galaxy in the theological firmament of
the time of Milton.

A later group of theological writers in the latter part of the
seventeenth century contains the commanding figures of Symon Patrick
(1626-1707), bishop and author of a _Commentary on the Old Testament_;
John Flavel (1627-1691) and his works on practical piety; John Tillotson
(1630-1694), the Anglican archbishop, whose eloquent sermons are still
held in high repute; Robert South (1633-1716), the great pulpit orator,
whose discourses are an ornament to the English tongue; Edward
Stillingfleet (1635-1699), from whose prolific pen came several valuable
treatises, one of which was _The Antiquities of the British Churches_;
and William Beveridge (1637-1708), whose _Private Thoughts upon Religion_
is still in much esteem.  To these we may add Thomas Ken (1637-1710), the
good bishop now best known as the author of _Praise God, from Whom all
Blessings Flow_; Benjamin Keach (1640-1704), a Baptist preacher of much
note and author of _Gospel Mysteries Opened_, which, like his other
writings, is marred by an {307} excessive use of figures; Gilbert Burnet
(1643-1709), the writer and bishop, who mingled freely in the political
affairs of the day and wrote much on a variety of subjects, one being a
_History of the Reformation of the Church of England_; William Wall
(1646-1728), the prominent defender of infant baptism; Humphrey Prideaux
(1648-1724), who wrote the _Connection of the Old and New Testaments_;
and Matthew Henry (1662-1714), still valued for his quaint and suggestive
_Commentary on the Scriptures_.

Here, too, belong George Fox (1624-1690) and Robert Barclay (1648-1690),
the heroic founder and the learned champion of the Society of Friends,
the former's _Journal_ and the latter's _Apology for the True Christian
Divinity_ being worthy of special note.  William Penn (1644-1718), more
eminent as the chief colonizer of Pennsylvania, also wrote many powerful
works in advocacy of Quaker teachings; and William Sewel's (1650-1726)
_History of the Quakers_ is a notable contribution to the literature of
that much-misunderstood and persecuted people.

Among those who graced the first half of the eighteenth century we find
the Irish man of letters, Charles Leslie (1650-1722), who gave among
others a celebrated treatise on _A Short and Easy Method with the
Deists_; Francis Atterbury (1662-1732), Bishop of Rochester, whose
_Sermons_ still survive; William Wollaston (1659-1724), known as the
author of _The Religion of Nature_, a plea for truth; Samuel Clarke
(1675-1729), the {308} philosophical writer of _The Demonstration of the
Being and Attributes of God_; Matthew Tindal (1657-1733), the leading
deist of his day, whose chief work was _Christianity as Old as Creation_;
Robert Wodrow (1679-1734), a Scotch preacher who wrote a _History of the
Sufferings of the Church of Scotland_; and Thomas Wilson (1663-1755),
Bishop of Sodor and Man for fifty-seven years and the author of many
useful works on the Scriptures and Christianity.  Bishop Joseph Butler
(1692-1752) appeared as the champion of Christianity and successfully
answered the deistical tendency of Tindal and others by his _Analogy of
Religion, Natural and Revealed, to the Constitution and Course of
Nature_, which, though obscure in style, is still in high repute for its
massive thought and mighty logic.

Thomas Stackhouse (1680-1752) and his _History of the Bible_; John
Bampton (1689-1751), whose estate still speaks at Oxford in defense of
Christianity in the annual lectures on Divinity; Daniel Waterland
(1683-1740), in his defense of the divinity of Christ; and Joseph Bingham
(1668-1723), in his learned treatise on _The Antiquities of the Christian
Church_, are also in the front rank of this period.  Daniel Neal
(1678-1743), in his _History of the Puritans_; John Leland (1691-1766),
the Dublin preacher, in his _View of the Deistical Writers_; and Philip
Doddridge (1702-1751), in his _Family Expositor_ and his briefer and more
famous _Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul_, furnished valuable
contributions to theological literature.


The latter half of the eighteenth century was prolific of letters.
Noteworthy among those who wrote on religious themes are the following:
Nathaniel Lardner (1684-1768), who wrote _The Credibility of the Gospel
History_; William Law (1687-1761), whose _Serious Call to a Holy Life_
and _Christian Perfection_ are still powerful works; Richard Challoner
(1691-1781), a Roman Catholic author of many practical and devotional
works and of a _Version of the Bible_, much prized in his own Church;
Alban Butler (1700-1773), who compiled _The Lives of the Saints_; William
Warburton (1698-1779), in his _Divine Legation of Moses_; Alexander
Cruden (1701-1770), the Scotch author of the famous _Concordance to the
Holy Scriptures_; and Lord George Lyttleton (1708-1773), the author of
_Observations on the Conversion and Apostleship of St. Paul_.

In the same category belong: Robert Lowth (1710-1787), whose book on
_Hebrew Poetry_ is still consulted; James Hervey (1713-1758), whose
_Meditations_ became very popular; Hugh Blair (1718-1800), the Scotchman
whose _Sermons_ for many years rivaled his _Lectures on Rhetoric_ in
popularity; Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), illustrious in the annals of
chemical discovery, who wrote _Institutes of Natural and Revealed
Religion_, and is one of the most distinguished Socinian writers; and
William Paley (1743-1805), whose _Natural Theology_ and _Horae Paulinae_
are still standard works.

During this period also came the great impulse {310} to the literature of
the common people through the tireless pen of John Wesley (1703-1791),
whose _Sermons and Notes on the New Testament_ have had a powerful
influence wherever the Wesleyan revival has spread.  James McKnight
(1721-1800), the scholarly commentator and harmonist; John Fletcher
(1729-1785), the sweet-souled defender of Methodism and author of _Checks
to Antinomianism_; Bishop Richard Watson (1737-1816), the learned
apologist; Augustus M. Toplady (1740-1778); the hymnist and polemic;
Joseph Milner (1744-1797), the Church historian; Thomas Coke (1747-1814),
in his _Commentary on the Old and New Testaments_; and Andrew Fuller
(1754-1815) were authors of marked force and ability.

Belonging to the first quarter of the nineteenth century the leading
theological productions are _The Immateriality and Immortality of the
Soul_, by Samuel Drew (1765-1833); the _Translation of the Book of Job_,
by John Mason Good (1764-1827); the popular _Commentaries on the Bible_
by Thomas Scott (1747-1821), Adam Clarke (1762-1832), and Joseph Benson
(1748-1821); the _Sermons_ of Robert Hall (1764-1831), the great Baptist
preacher; the _Introduction to the Literary History of the Bible_, by
James Townley (died 1833); the missionary narratives of Henry Martyn
(1781-1812), William Ward (1769-1822) and John Williams (1796-1839); and
the pathetic story of _The Dairyman's Daughter_, by Legh Richmond
(1772-1827).  A little later in this century the first ranks {311} of
theological scholarship include the Wordsworths--Christopher (1774-1846),
the brother of the poet, and his two sons, Charles (1806-1892) and
Christopher, Jr. (1809-1885).

_Tracts for the Times_, written by a group of men styling themselves
Anglo-Catholics, whose leaders were Edward B. Pusey (1800-1882), John H.
Newman (1801-1890), John Keble (1792-1866), Richard H. Froude and others,
began in 1833, and for several years continued to be published, reaching
ninety in number.  Their main purpose was a discussion and defense of the
character and work of the Established Church, but a large result was that
several of the leading spirits, with about two hundred clergymen and the
same number of prominent laymen, became Roman Catholics.  This
High-Church series of writings was followed in 1860 by _Essays and
Reviews_, a volume containing seven articles, whose authors were
Frederick Temple (born 1821), Rowland Williams (1817-1870), Baden Powell
(1796-1860), Henry B. Wilson (born 1804), C. W. Goodwin, Mark Pattison
(1813-1884), and Benjamin Jowett (1817-1893).  The purpose of these men
was to liberalize the thought of the Church.  They accomplished this
result, and with it the overthrow of the faith of some.

Thomas Chalmers (1780-1847), the great Scotch preacher, left much fruit
of his pen, the most celebrated being _Astronomical Discourses_.  Other
distinguished books are: _A Practical View of {312} Christianity_, by
William Wilberforce (1759-1833); _Horae Homileticae_, by Charles Simeon
(1759-1836); _The Lives of Knox and Melville_, by Thomas McCrie
(1772-1835); _Horae Mosaicae_, by George Stanley Faber (1773-1854); _The
Scripture Testimony to the Messiah_, by John Pye Smith (1774-1851);
_Theological Institutes_, by the Wesleyan theologian, Richard Watson
(1781-1833); the _Histories of the Jews_ and _of Christianity_, by Henry
Hart Milman (1791-1868); the _Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature_, by
John Kitto (1804-1854); _Mammon_, by John Harris (1804-1856); the
_Theological Essays_ of John Frederick Denison Maurice (1805-1872);
_Missions the Chief End of the Christian Church_, by Alexander Duff
(1806-1878); the _Sermons_ of Frederick William Robertson (1816-1853);
and _The Life and Epistles of Paul_, by William J. Conybeare (1815-1857)
and John S. Howson (1816-1885).

The latter half of the present century has been marked by many strong and
profound theological publications, of which we may name as worthy of
particular notice: _The Introduction to the Study of the Holy
Scriptures_, by Thomas Hartwell Horne (1780-1862); _Historic Doubts
Relative to Napoleon Bonaparte_, by Richard Whately (1787-1863);
_Apologia pro Vita Sua_ of John H. Newman (1801-1890); _The Typology of
Scripture_, by Patrick Fairbairn (1805-1892); _The Eclipse of Faith_, by
Henry Rogers (1806-1877); the _Notes on the Parables and Miracles_, by
Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886); {313} _The Temporal Mission of the
Holy Ghost_, by Henry Edward Manning (1808-1892); the series of lectures
on the Scriptures, by John Gumming (1810-1881); the _Greek New
Testament_, edited by Henry Alford (1810-1871); and the same by Samuel
Prideaux Tregelles (1813-1875); the historical works of Arthur Penrhyn
Stanley (1815-1881); _Hypatia, or Old Foes with a New Face_, by Charles
Kingsley (1819-1875); _Ecce Homo_, by John Robert Seeley (1834-1895); the
_Sermons_ of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892); and _Natural Law in the
Spiritual World_, the brilliant venture of the beloved and lamented Henry
Drummond (1851-1897), whose _Greatest Thing in the World_ bids fair to
become a Christian classic.




This little volume is intended as a companion to the _Outline Sketch of
English Literature_, published last year for the Chautauqua Circle.  In
writing it I have followed the same plan, aiming to present the subject
in a sort of continuous essay rather than in the form of a "primer" or
elementary manual.  I have not undertaken to describe or even to
mention every American author or book of importance, but only those
which seemed to me of most significance.  Nevertheless I believe that
the sketch contains enough detail to make it of some use as a
guide-book to our literature.  Though meant to be mainly a history of
American _belles-lettres_ it makes some mention of historical and
political writings, {318} but hardly any of philosophical, scientific,
and technical works.

A chronological rather than a topical order has been followed, although
the fact that our best literature is of recent growth has made it
impossible to adhere as closely to a chronological plan as in the
English sketch.  In the reading courses appended to the different
chapters I have named a few of the most important authorities in
American literary history, such as Duyckinck, Tyler, Stedman, and




CHAPTER                                                 PAGE

    I.  THE COLONIAL PERIOD, 1607-1765 . . . . . . . . . 321
   II.  THE REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD, 1765-1815  . . . . . . 365
  III.  THE ERA OF NATIONAL EXPANSION, 1815-1837 . . . . 400
   IV.  THE CONCORD WRITERS, 1837-1861 . . . . . . . . . 434
    V.  THE CAMBRIDGE SCHOLARS, 1837-1861  . . . . . . . 472
   VI.  LITERATURE IN THE CITIES, 1837-1861  . . . . . . 511
  VII.  LITERATURE SINCE 1861  . . . . . . . . . . . . . 554
        AMERICA  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 594
        INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 609






The writings of our colonial era have a much greater importance as
history than as literature.  It would be unfair to judge of the
intellectual vigor of the English colonists in America by the books
that they wrote; those "stern men with empires in their brains" had
more pressing work to do than the making of books.  The first settlers,
indeed, were brought face to face with strange and exciting
conditions--the sea, the wilderness, the Indians, the flora and fauna
of a new world--things which seem stimulating to the imagination, and
incidents and experiences which might have lent themselves easily to
poetry or romance.  Of all these they wrote back to England reports
which were faithful and sometimes vivid, but which, upon the whole,
hardly rise into the region of literature.  "New England," said
Hawthorne, "was then in a {322} state incomparably more picturesque
than at present."  But to a contemporary that old New England of the
seventeenth century doubtless seemed any thing but picturesque, filled
with grim, hard, worky-day realities.  The planters both of Virginia
and Massachusetts were decimated by sickness and starvation, constantly
threatened by Indian wars, and troubled by quarrels among themselves
and fears of disturbance from England.  The wrangles between the royal
governors and the House of Burgesses in the Old Dominion, and the
theological squabbles in New England, which fill our colonial records,
are petty and wearisome to read of.  At least, they would be so did we
not bear in mind to what imperial destinies these conflicts were slowly
educating the little communities which had hardly as yet secured a
foothold on the edge of the raw continent.

Even a century and a half after the Jamestown and Plymouth settlements,
when the American plantations had grown strong and flourishing, and
commerce was building up large towns, and there were wealth and
generous living and fine society, the "good old colony days when we
lived under the king," had yielded little in the way of literature that
is of any permanent interest.  There would seem to be something in the
relation of a colony to the mother country which dooms the thought and
art of the former to a hopeless provincialism.  Canada and Australia
are great provinces, wealthier and more populous than the {323}
thirteen colonies at the time of their separation from England.  They
have cities whose inhabitants number hundreds of thousands, well
equipped universities, libraries, cathedrals, costly public buildings,
all the outward appliances of an advanced civilization; and yet what
have Canada and Australia contributed to British literature?

American literature had no infancy.  That engaging _naivete_ and that
heroic rudeness which give a charm to the early popular tales and songs
of Europe find, of course, no counterpart on our soil.  Instead of
emerging from the twilight of the past, the first American writings
were produced under the garish noon of a modern and learned age.
Decrepitude rather than youthfulness is the mark of a colonial
literature.  The poets, in particular, instead of finding a challenge
to their imagination in the new life about them, are apt to go on
imitating the cast off literary fashions of the mother country.
America was settled by Englishmen who were contemporary with the
greatest names in English literature.  Jamestown was planted in 1607,
nine years before Shakspeare's death, and the hero of that enterprize,
Captain John Smith, may not improbably have been a personal
acquaintance of the great dramatist.  "They have acted my fatal
tragedies on the stage," wrote Smith.  Many circumstances in _The
Tempest_ were doubtless suggested by the wreck of the _Sea Venture_ on
"the still vext Bermoothes," as described by William Strachey in his
_True Repertory of the Wrack and {324} Redemption of Sir Thomas Gates_,
written at Jamestown, and published at London in 1510.  Shakspere's
contemporary, Michael Drayton, the poet of the _Polyolbion_, addressed
a spirited valedictory ode to the three shiploads of "brave, heroic
minds" who sailed from London in 1606 to colonize Virginia; an ode
which ended with the prophecy of a future American literature:

  "And as there plenty grows
  Of laurel every-where,--
  Apollo's sacred tree--
  You it may see
  A poet's brows
  To crown, that may sing there."

Another English poet, Samuel Daniel, the author of the _Civil Wars_,
had also prophesied in a similar strain:

  "And who in time knows whither we may vent
    The treasure of our tongue, to what strange shores~.~.~.
  What worlds in the yet unformed Occident
    May come refined with accents that are ours."

It needed but a slight movement in the balances of fate, and Walter
Raleigh might have been reckoned among the poets of America.  He was
one of the original promoters of the Virginia colony, and he made
voyages in person to Newfoundland and Guiana.  And more unlikely things
have happened than that when John Milton left Cambridge in 1632, he
should have been tempted to follow Winthrop and the colonists of
Massachusetts Bay, {325} who had sailed two years before.  Sir Henry
Vane, the younger, who was afterward Milton's friend--

  "Vane, young in years, but in sage counsel old"--

came over in 1635, and was for a short time Governor of Massachusetts.
These are idle speculations, and yet, when we reflect that Oliver
Cromwell was on the point of embarking for America when he was
prevented by the king's officers, we may, for the nonce, "let our frail
thoughts dally with false surmise," and fancy by how narrow a chance
_Paradise Lost_ missed being written in Boston.  But, as a rule, the
members of the literary guild are not quick to emigrate.  They like the
feeling of an old and rich civilization about them, a state of society
which America has only begun to reach during the present century.

Virginia and New England, says Lowell, were the "two great distributing
centers of the English race."  The men who colonized the country
between the Capes of Virginia were not drawn, to any large extent, from
the literary or bookish classes in the Old Country.  Many of the first
settlers were gentlemen--too many, Captain Smith thought, for the good
of the plantation.  Some among these were men of worth and spirit, "of
good means and great parentage."  Such was, for example, George Percy,
a younger brother of the Earl of Northumberland, who was one of the
original adventurers, and the author of _A Discourse of the Plantation
of the Southern Colony of Virginia_, {326} which contains a graphic
narrative of the fever and famine summer of 1607 at Jamestown.  But
many of these gentlemen were idlers, "unruly gallants, packed thither
by their friends to escape ill destinies;" dissipated younger sons,
soldiers of fortune, who came over after the gold which was supposed to
abound in the new country, and who spent their time in playing bowls
and drinking at the tavern as soon as there was any tavern.  With these
was a sprinkling of mechanics and farmers, indented servants, and the
off-scourings of the London streets, fruit of press gangs and jail
deliveries, sent over to "work in the plantations."

Nor were the conditions of life afterward in Virginia very favorable to
literary growth.  The planters lived isolated on great estates, which
had water fronts on the rivers that flow into the Chesapeake.  There
the tobacco, the chief staple of the country, was loaded directly upon
the trading vessels that tied up to the long, narrow wharves of the
plantations.  Surrounded by his slaves, and visited occasionally by a
distant neighbor, the Virginia country gentleman lived a free and
careless life.  He was fond of fox-hunting, horse-racing, and
cock-fighting.  There were no large towns, and the planters met each
other mainly on occasion of a county court or the assembling of the
Burgesses.  The court-house was the nucleus of social and political
life in Virginia as the town-meeting was in New England.  In such a
state of society schools were necessarily few, and popular education
did {327} not exist.  Sir William Berkeley, who was the royal governor
of the colony from 1641 to 1677, said, in 1670, "I thank God there are
no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these
hundred years."  In the matter of printing, this pious wish was
well-nigh realized.  The first press set up in the colony, about 1681,
was soon suppressed, and found no successor until the year 1729.  From
that date until some ten years before the Revolution one printing-press
answered the needs of Virginia, and this was under official control.
The earliest newspaper in the colony was the _Virginia Gazette_,
established in 1736.

In the absence of schools the higher education naturally languished.
Some of the planters were taught at home by tutors, and others went to
England and entered the universities.  But these were few in number,
and there was no college in the colony until more than half a century
after the foundation of Harvard in the younger province of
Massachusetts.  The college of William and Mary was established at
Williamsburg chiefly by the exertions of the Rev. James Blair, a Scotch
divine, who was sent by the Bishop of London as "commissary" to the
Church in Virginia.  The college received its charter in 1693, and held
its first commencement in 1700.  It is perhaps significant of the
difference between the Puritans of New England and the so-called
"Cavaliers" of Virginia, that while the former founded and supported
Harvard College in 1636, and Yale in 1701, of {328} their own motion,
and at their own expense, William and Mary received its endowment from
the crown, being provided for in part by a deed of lands and in part by
a tax of a penny a pound on all tobacco exported from the colony.  In
return for this royal grant the college was to present yearly to the
king two copies of Latin verse.  It is reported of the young Virginian
gentlemen who resorted to the new college that they brought their
plantation manners with them, and were accustomed to "keep race-horses
at the college, and bet at the billiard or other gaming tables."
William and Mary College did a good work for the colony, and educated
some of the great Virginians of the Revolutionary era, but it has never
been a large or flourishing institution, and has held no such relation
to the intellectual development of its section as Harvard and Yale have
held in the colonies of Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Even after the
foundation of the University of Virginia, in which Jefferson took a
conspicuous part, southern youths were commonly sent to the North for
their education, and at the time of the outbreak of the civil war there
was a large contingent of southern students in several northern
colleges, notably in Princeton and Yale.

Naturally, the first books written in America were descriptions of the
country and narratives of the vicissitudes of the infant settlements,
which were sent home to be printed for the information of the English
public and the encouragement of {329} further immigration.  Among books
of this kind produced in Virginia the earliest and most noteworthy were
the writings of that famous soldier of fortune, Captain John Smith.
The first of these was his _True Relation_, namely, "of such
occurrences and accidents of note as hath happened in Virginia since
the first planting of that colony," printed at London in 1608.  Among
Smith's other books, the most important is perhaps his _General History
of Virginia_ (London, 1624), a compilation of various narratives by
different hands, but passing under his name.  Smith was a man of a
restless and daring spirit, full of resource, impatient of
contradiction, and of a somewhat vainglorious nature, with an appetite
for the marvelous and a disposition to draw the long bow.  He had seen
service in many parts of the world, and his wonderful adventures lost
nothing in the telling.  It was alleged against him that the evidence
of his prowess rested almost entirely on his own testimony.  His
truthfulness in essentials has not, perhaps, been successfully
impugned, but his narratives have suffered by the embellishments with
which he has colored them, and, in particular, the charming story of
Pocohontas saving his life at the risk of her own--the one romance of
early Virginian history--has passed into the realm of legend.

Captain Smith's writings have small literary value apart from the
interest of the events which they describe, and the diverting but
forcible {330} personality which they unconsciously display.  They are
the rough-hewn records of a busy man of action, whose sword was
mightier than his pen.  As Smith returned to England after two years in
Virginia, and did not permanently cast in his lot with the settlement
of which he had been for a time the leading spirit, he can hardly be
claimed as an American author.  No more can Mr. George Sandys, who came
to Virginia in the train of Governor Wyat, in 1621, and completed his
excellent metrical translation of Ovid on the banks of the James, in
the midst of the Indian massacre of 1622, "limned" as he writes "by
that imperfect light which was snatched from the hours of night and
repose, having wars and tumults to bring it to light instead of the
muses."  Sandys went back to England for good, probably as early as
1625, and can, therefore, no more be reckoned as the first American
poet, on the strength of his paraphrase of the _Metamorphoses_, than he
can be reckoned the earliest Yankee inventor, because he "introduced
the first water-mill into America."

The literature of colonial Virginia, and of the southern colonies which
took their point of departure from Virginia, is almost wholly of this
historical and descriptive kind.  A great part of it is concerned with
the internal affairs of the province, such as "Bacon's Rebellion," in
1676, one of the most striking episodes in our ante-revolutionary
annals, and of which there exist a number of narratives, some of them
anonymous, and only rescued {331} from a manuscript condition a hundred
years after the event.  Another part is concerned with the explorations
of new territory.  Such were the "Westover Manuscripts," left by
Colonel William Byrd, who was appointed in 1729 one of the
commissioners to fix the boundary between Virginia and North Carolina,
and gave an account of the survey in his _History of the Dividing
Line_, which was only printed in 1841.  Colonel Byrd is one of the most
brilliant figures of colonial Virginia, and a type of the Old Virginia
gentleman.  He had been sent to England for his education, where he was
admitted to the bar of the Middle Temple, elected a Fellow of the Royal
Society, and formed an intimate friendship with Charles Boyle, the Earl
of Orrery.  He held many offices in the government of the colony, and
founded the cities of Richmond and Petersburg.  His estates were large,
and at Westover--where he had one of the finest private libraries in
America--he exercised a baronial hospitality, blending the usual
profusion of plantation life with the elegance of a traveled scholar
and "picked man of countries."  Colonel Byrd was rather an amateur in
literature.  His _History of the Dividing Line_ is written with a
jocularity which rises occasionally into real humor, and which gives to
the painful journey through the wilderness the air of a holiday
expedition.  Similar in tone were his diaries of _A Progress to the
Mines_ and _A Journey to the Land of Eden_ in North Carolina.

{332} The first formal historian of Virginia was Robert Beverley, "a
native and inhabitant of the place," whose History of Virginia was
printed at London in 1705.  Beverley was a rich planter and large slave
owner, who, being in London in 1703, was shown by his bookseller the
manuscript of a forthcoming work, Oldmixon's _British Empire in
America_.  Beverley was set upon writing his history by the
inaccuracies in this, and likewise because the province "has been so
misrepresented to the common people of England as to make them believe
that the servants in Virginia are made to draw in cart and plow, and
that the country turns all people black," an impression which lingers
still in parts of Europe.  The most original portions of the book are
those in which the author puts down his personal observations of the
plants and animals of the New World, and particularly the account of
the Indians, to which his third book is devoted, and which is
accompanied by valuable plates.  Beverley's knowledge of these matters
was evidently at first hand, and his descriptions here are very fresh
and interesting.  The more strictly historical part of his work is not
free from prejudice and inaccuracy.  A more critical, detailed, and
impartial, but much less readable, work was William Stith's _History of
the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia_, 1747, which brought
the subject down only to the year 1624.  Stith was a clergyman, and at
one time a professor in William and Mary College.


The Virginians were stanch royalists and churchmen.  The Church of
England was established by law, and non-conformity was persecuted in
various ways.  Three missionaries were sent to the colony in 1642 by
the Puritans of New England, two from Braintree, Massachusetts, and one
from New Haven.  They were not suffered to preach, but many resorted to
them in private houses, until, being finally driven out by fines and
imprisonments, they took refuge in Catholic Maryland.  The Virginia
clergy were not, as a body, very much of a force in education or
literature.  Many of them, by reason of the scattering and dispersed
condition of their parishes, lived as domestic chaplains with the
wealthier planters, and partook of their illiteracy and their passion
for gaming and hunting.  Few of them inherited the zeal of Alexander
Whitaker, the "Apostle of Virginia," who came over in 1611 to preach to
the colonists and convert the Indians, and who published in furtherance
of those ends _Good News from Virginia_, in 1613, three years before
his death by drowning in James River.

The conditions were much more favorable for the production of a
literature in New England than in the southern colonies.  The free and
genial existence of the "Old Dominion" had no counterpart among the
settlers of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, and the Puritans must have
been rather unpleasant people to live with for persons of a different
way of thinking.  But their {334} intensity of character, their respect
for learning, and the heroic mood which sustained them through the
hardships and dangers of their great enterprise are amply reflected in
their own writings.  If these are not so much literature as the raw
materials of literature, they have at least been fortunate in finding
interpreters among their descendants, and no modern Virginian has done
for the memory of the Jamestown planters what Hawthorne, Whittier,
Longfellow, and others have done in casting the glamour of poetry and
romance over the lives of the founders of New England.

Cotton Mather, in his _Magnalia_, quotes the following passage from one
of those election sermons, delivered before the General Court of
Massachusetts, which formed for many years the great annual
intellectual event of the colony: "The question was often put unto our
predecessors, _What went ye out into the wilderness to see_?  And the
answer to it is not only too excellent but too notorious to be
dissembled.~.~.~.  We came hither because we would have our posterity
settled under the pure and full dispensations of the gospel, defended
by rulers that should be of ourselves."  The New England colonies were,
in fact, theocracies.  Their leaders were clergymen or laymen, whose
zeal for the faith was no whit inferior to that of the ministers
themselves.  Church and State were one.  The freeman's oath was only
administered to Church members, and there was no place in the social
system for unbelievers or {335} dissenters.  The Pilgrim fathers
regarded their transplantation to the New World as an exile, and
nothing is more touching in their written records than the repeated
expressions of love and longing toward the old home which they had
left, and even toward that Church of England from which they had
sorrowfully separated themselves.  It was not in any light or
adventurous spirit that they faced the perils of the sea and the
wilderness.  "This howling wilderness," "these ends of the earth,"
"these goings down of the sun," are some of the epithets which they
constantly applied to the land of their exile.  Nevertheless they had
come to stay, and, unlike Smith and Percy and Sandys, the early
historians and writers of New England cast in their lots permanently
with the new settlements.  A few, indeed, went back after 1640--Mather
says some ten or twelve of the ministers of the first "classis" or
immigration were among them--when the victory of the Puritanic party in
Parliament opened a career for them in England, and made their presence
there seem in some cases a duty.  The celebrated Hugh Peters, for
example, who was afterward Oliver Cromwell's chaplain, and was beheaded
after the Restoration, went back in 1641, and in 1647 Nathaniel Ward,
the minister of Ipswich, Massachusetts, and author of a quaint book
against toleration, entitled _The Simple Cobbler of Agawam_, written in
America and published shortly after its author's arrival in England.
The Civil War, too, put a stop to {336} further emigration from England
until after the Restoration in 1660.

The mass of the Puritan immigration consisted of men of the middle
class, artisans and husbandmen, the most useful members of a new
colony.  But their leaders were clergymen educated at the universities,
and especially at Emanuel College, Cambridge, the great Puritan
college; their civil magistrates were also in great part gentlemen of
education and substance, like the elder Winthrop, who was learned in
the law, and Theophilus Eaton, first governor of New Haven, who was a
London merchant of good estate.  It is computed that there were in New
England during the first generation as many university graduates as in
any community of equal population in the old country.  Almost the first
care of the settlers was to establish schools.  Every town of fifty
families was required by law to maintain a common school, and every
town of a hundred families a grammar or Latin school.  In 1636, only
sixteen years after the landing of the Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock,
Harvard College was founded at Newtown, whose name was thereupon
changed to Cambridge, the General Court held at Boston on September 8,
1680, having already advanced 400 pounds "by way of essay towards the
building of something to begin a college."  "An university," says
Mather, "which hath been to these plantations, for the good literature
there cultivated, _sal Gentium_~.~.~. and a river, without the streams
whereof these regions would {337} have been mere unwatered places for
the devil."  By 1701 Harvard had put forth a vigorous offshoot, Yale
College, at New Haven, the settlers of New Haven and Connecticut
plantations having increased sufficiently to need a college at their
own doors.  A printing press was set up at Cambridge in 1639, which was
under the oversight of the university authorities, and afterwards of
licensers appointed by the civil power.  The press was no more free in
Massachusetts than in Virginia, and that "liberty of unlicensed
printing," for which the Puritan Milton had pleaded in his
_Areopagitica_, in 1644, was unknown in Puritan New England until some
twenty years before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War.  "The
Freeman's Oath" and an almanac were issued from the Cambridge press in
1639, and in 1640 the first English book printed in America, a
collection of the psalms in meter, made by various ministers, and known
as the _Bay Psalm Book_.  The poetry of this version was worse, if
possible, than that of Sternhold and Hopkins's famous rendering; but it
is noteworthy that one of the principal translators was that devoted
"Apostle to the Indians," the Rev. John Eliot, who, in 1661-63,
translated the Bible into the Algonkin tongue.  Eliot hoped and toiled
a lifetime for the conversion of those "salvages," "tawnies,"
"devil-worshipers," for whom our early writers have usually nothing but
bad words.  They have been destroyed instead of converted; but his (so
entitled) _Mamusse Wunneetupanatamwe {338} Up-Biblum God naneeswe
Nukkone Testament kah wonk Wusku Testament_--the first Bible printed in
America--remains a monument of missionary zeal and a work of great
value to students of the Indian languages.

A modern writer has said that, to one looking back on the history of
old New England, it seems as though the sun shone but dimly there, and
the landscape was always dark and wintry.  Such is the impression which
one carries away from the perusal of books like Bradford's and
Winthrop's _Journals_, or Mather's _Wonders of the Invisible World_: an
impression of gloom, of night and cold, of mysterious fears besieging
the infant settlements, scattered in a narrow fringe "between the
groaning forest and the shore."  The Indian terror hung over New
England for more than half a century, or until the issue of King
Philip's War, in 1676, relieved the colonists of any danger of a
general massacre.  Added to this were the perplexities caused by the
earnest resolve of the settlers to keep their New English Eden free
from the intrusion of the serpent in the shape of heretical sects in
religion.  The Puritanism of Massachusetts was an orthodox and
conservative Puritanism.  The later and more grotesque out-crops of the
movement in the old England found no toleration in the new.  But these
refugees for conscience' sake were compelled in turn to persecute
Antinomians, Separatists, Familists, Libertines, Anti-pedobaptists, and
later, Quakers, and still {339} later, Enthusiasts, who swarmed into
their precincts and troubled the Churches with "prophesyings" and novel
opinions.  Some of these were banished, others were flogged or
imprisoned, and a few were put to death.  Of the exiles the most
noteworthy was Roger Williams, an impetuous, warm-hearted man, who was
so far in advance of his age as to deny the power of the civil
magistrate in cases of conscience, or who, in other words, maintained
the modern doctrine of the separation of Church and State.  Williams
was driven away from the Massachusetts colony--where he had been
minister of the Church at Salem--and with a few followers fled into the
southern wilderness, and settled at Providence.  There and in the
neighboring plantation of Rhode Island, for which he obtained a
charter, he established his patriarchal rule, and gave freedom of
worship to all comers.  Williams was a prolific writer on theological
subjects, the most important of his writings being, perhaps, his
_Bloody Tenent of Persecution_, 1644, and a supplement to the same
called out by a reply to the former work from the pen of Mr. John
Cotton, minister of the First Church at Boston, entitled _The Bloody
Tenent Washed and made White in the Blood of the Lamb_.  Williams was
also a friend to the Indians, whose lands, he thought, should not be
taken from them without payment, and he anticipated Eliot by writing,
in 1643, a _Key into the Language of America_.  Although at odds with
the theology of {340} Massachusetts Bay, Williams remained in
correspondence with Winthrop and others in Boston, by whom he was
highly esteemed.  He visited England in 1643 and 1652, and made the
acquaintance of John Milton.

Besides the threat of an Indian war and their anxious concern for the
purity of the Gospel in their Churches, the colonists were haunted by
superstitious forebodings of the darkest kind.  It seemed to them that
Satan, angered by the setting up of the kingdom of the saints in
America, had "come down in great wrath," and was present among them,
sometimes even in visible shape, to terrify and tempt.  Special
providences and unusual phenomena, like earthquakes, mirages, and the
northern lights, are gravely recorded by Winthrop and Mather and others
as portents of supernatural persecutions.  Thus Mrs. Anne Hutchinson,
the celebrated leader of the Familists, having, according to rumor,
been delivered of a monstrous birth, the Rev. John Cotton, in open
assembly, at Boston, upon a lecture day, "thereupon gathered that it
might signify her error in denying inherent righteousness."  "There
will be an unusual range of the devil among us," wrote Mather, "a
little before the second coming of our Lord.  The evening wolves will
be much abroad when we are near the evening of the world." This belief
culminated in the horrible witchcraft delusion at Salem in 1692, that
"spectral puppet play," which, beginning with the malicious pranks of a
few children who {341} accused certain uncanny old women and other
persons of mean condition and suspected lives of having tormented them
with magic, gradually drew into its vortex victims of the highest
character, and resulted in the judicial murder of over nineteen people.
Many of the possessed pretended to have been visited by the apparition
of a little black man, who urged them to inscribe their names in a red
book which he carried--a sort of muster-roll of those who had forsworn
God's service for the devil's.  Others testified to having been present
at meetings of witches in the forest.  It is difficult now to read
without contempt the "evidence" which grave justices and learned
divines considered sufficient to condemn to death men and women of
unblemished lives.  It is true that the belief in witchcraft was
general at that time all over the civilized world, and that sporadic
cases of witch-burnings had occurred in different parts of America and
Europe.  Sir Thomas Browne, in his _Religio Medici_, 1635, affirmed his
belief in witches, and pronounced those who doubted of them "a sort of
atheist."  But the superstition came to a head in the Salem trials and
executions, and was the more shocking from the general high level of
intelligence in the community in which these were held.  It would be
well if those who lament the decay of "faith" would remember what
things were done in New England in the name of faith less than two
hundred years ago.  It is not wonderful that, to the Massachusetts
Puritans of {342} the seventeenth century, the mysterious forest held
no beautiful suggestion; to them it was simply a grim and hideous
wilderness, whose dark aisles were the ambush of prowling savages and
the rendezvous of those other "devil-worshipers" who celebrated there a
kind of vulgar Walpurgis night.

The most important of original sources for the history of the
settlement of New England are the journals of William Bradford, first
governor of Plymouth, and John Winthrop, the second governor of
Massachusetts, which hold a place corresponding to the writings of
Captain John Smith in the Virginia colony, but are much more sober and
trustworthy.  Bradford's _History of Plymouth Plantation_ covers the
period from 1620 to 1646.  The manuscript was used by later annalists,
but remained unpublished, as a whole, until 1855, having been lost
during the war of the revolution and recovered long afterward in
England.  Winthrop's Journal, or _History of New England_, begun on
shipboard in 1630, and extending to 1649, was not published entire
until 1826.  It is of equal authority with Bradford's, and perhaps, on
the whole, the more important of the two, as the colony of
Massachusetts Bay, whose history it narrates, greatly outwent Plymouth
in wealth and population, though not in priority of settlement.  The
interest of Winthrop's Journal lies in the events that it records
rather than in any charm in the historian's manner of recording them.
His style is pragmatic, {343} and some of the incidents which he
gravely notes are trivial to the modern mind, though instructive as to
our forefathers' way of thinking.  For instance, of the year 1632: "At
Watertown there was (in the view of divers witnesses) a great combat
between a mouse and a snake, and after a long fight the mouse prevailed
and killed the snake.  The pastor of Boston, Mr. Wilson, a very
sincere, holy man, hearing of it, gave this interpretation: that the
snake was the devil, the mouse was a poor, contemptible people, which
God had brought hither, which should overcome Satan here and dispossess
him of his kingdom."  The reader of Winthrop's _Journal_ comes
every-where upon hints which the imagination has since shaped into
poetry and romance.  The germs of many of Longfellow's _New England
Tragedies_, of Hawthorne's _Maypole of Merrymount_, of _Endicott's Red
Cross_, and of Whittier's _John Underhill_ and _The Familists' Hymn_
are all to be found in some dry, brief entry of the old Puritan
diarist.  "Robert Cole, having been oft punished for drunkenness, was
now ordered to wear a red D about his neck for a year" to wit, the year
1633, and thereby gave occasion to the greatest American romance, _The
Scarlet Letter_.  The famous apparition of the phantom ship in New
Haven harbor, "upon the top of the poop a man standing with one hand
akimbo under his left side, and in his right hand a sword stretched out
toward the sea," was first chronicled by Winthrop under the year 1648.
This meterological {344} phenomenon took on the dimensions of a
full-grown myth some forty years later, as related, with many
embellishments, by Rev. James Pierpont, of New Haven, in a letter to
Cotton Mather.  Winthrop put great faith in special providences, and
among other instances narrates, not without a certain grim
satisfaction, how "the _Mary Rose_, a ship of Bristol, of about 200
tons," lying before Charleston, was blown in pieces with her own
powder, being twenty-one barrels, wherein the judgment of God appeared,
"for the master and company were many of them profane scoffers at us
and at the ordinances of religion here."  Without any effort at
dramatic portraiture or character sketching, Winthrop managed in all
simplicity, and by the plain relation of facts, to leave a clear
impression of many of the prominent figures in the first Massachusetts
immigration.  In particular there gradually arises from the entries in
his diary a very distinct and diverting outline of Captain John
Underhill, celebrated in Whittier's poem.  He was one of the few
professional soldiers who came over with the Puritan fathers, such as
John Mason, the hero of the Pequot War, and Miles Standish, whose
_Courtship_ Longfellow sang.  He had seen service in the Low Countries,
and in pleading the privilege of his profession "he insisted much upon
the liberty which all States do allow to military officers for free
speech, etc., and that himself had spoken sometimes as freely to Count
Nassau."  Captain Underhill gave the colony no end of {345} trouble,
both by his scandalous living and his heresies in religion.  Having
been seduced into Familistical opinions by Mrs. Anne Hutchinson, who
was banished for her beliefs, he was had up before the General Court
and questioned, among other points, as to his own report of the manner
of his conversion.  "He had lain under a spirit of bondage and a legal
way for years, and could get no assurance, till, at length, as he was
taking a pipe of tobacco, the Spirit set home an absolute promise of
free grace with such assurance and joy as he never since doubted of his
good estate, neither should he, though he should fall into sin.~.~.~.
The Lord's day following he made a speech in the assembly, showing that
as the Lord was pleased to convert Paul as he was in persecuting, etc.,
so he might manifest himself to him as he was taking the moderate use
of the creature called tobacco."  The gallant captain, being banished
the colony, betook himself to the falls of the Piscataquack (Exeter, N.
H.), where the Rev. John Wheelwright, another adherent of Mrs.
Hutchinson, had gathered a congregation.  Being made governor of this
plantation, Underhill sent letters to the Massachusetts magistrates,
breathing reproaches and imprecations of vengeance.  But meanwhile it
was discovered that he had been living in adultery at Boston with a
young woman whom he had seduced, the wife of a cooper, and the captain
was forced to make public confession, which he did with great unction
and in a manner highly dramatic.  "He came {346} in his worst clothes
(being accustomed to take great pride in his bravery and neatness),
without a band, in a foul linen cap, and pulled close to his eyes, and
standing upon a form, he did, with many deep sighs and abundance of
tears, lay open his wicked course."  There is a lurking humor in the
grave Winthrop's detailed account of Underhill's doings.  Winthrop's
own personality comes out well in his _Journal_.  He was a born leader
of men, a _conditor imperii_, just, moderate, patient, wise, and his
narrative gives, upon the whole, a favorable impression of the general
prudence and fair-mindedness of the Massachusetts settlers in their
dealings with one another, with the Indians, and with the neighboring

Considering our forefathers' errand and calling into this wilderness,
it is not strange that their chief literary staples were sermons and
tracts in controversial theology.  Multitudes of these were written and
published by the divines of the first generation, such as John Cotton,
Thomas Shepard, John Norton, Peter Bulkley, and Thomas Hooker, the
founder of Hartford, of whom it was finely said that "when he was doing
his Master's business he would put a king into his pocket."  Nor were
their successors in the second or the third generation any less
industrious and prolific.  They rest from their labors and their works
do follow them.  Their sermons and theological treatises are not
literature, they are for the most part dry, heavy, and dogmatic, but
they exhibit great learning, {347} logical acuteness, and an
earnestness which sometimes rises into eloquence.  The pulpit ruled New
England, and the sermon was the great intellectual engine of the time.
The serious thinking of the Puritans was given almost exclusively to
religion; the other world was all their art.  The daily secular events
of life, the aspects of nature, the vicissitude of the seasons, were
important enough to find record in print only in so far as they
manifested God's dealings with his people.  So much was the sermon
depended upon to furnish literary food that it was the general custom
of serious minded laymen to take down the words of the discourse in
their note-books.  Franklin, in his _Autobiography_, describes this as
the constant habit of his grandfather, Peter Folger; and Mather, in his
life of the elder Winthrop, says that "tho' he wrote not after the
preacher, yet such was his _attention_ and such his _retention_ in
hearing, that he repeated unto his family the sermons which he had
heard in the congregation."  These discourses were commonly of great
length; twice, or sometimes thrice, the pulpit hour-glass was silently
inverted while the orator pursued his theme even unto _n_'thly.

The book which best sums up the life and thought of this old New
England of the seventeenth century is Cotton Mather's _Magnalia Christi
Americana_.  Mather was by birth a member of that clerical aristocracy
which developed later into Dr. Holmes's "Brahmin Caste of New England."
His maternal grandfather was John Cotton.  His {348} father was
Increase Mather, the most learned divine of his generation in New
England, minister of the North Church of Boston, President of Harvard
College, and author, _inter alia_, of that characteristically Puritan
book, _An Essay for the Recording of Illustrious Providences_.  Cotton
Mather himself was a monster of erudition and a prodigy of diligence.
He was graduated from Harvard at fifteen.  He ordered his daily life
and conversation by a system of minute observances.  He was a
book-worm, whose life was spent between his library and his pulpit, and
his published works number upward of three hundred and eighty.  Of
these the most important is the _Magnalia_, 1702, an ecclesiastical
history of New England from 1620 to 1698, divided into seven parts: I.
Antiquities; II. Lives of the Governors; III. Lives of Sixty Famous
Divines; IV. A History of Harvard College, with biographies of its
eminent graduates; V. Acts and Monuments of the Faith; VI. Wonderful
Providences; VII. The Wars of the Lord, that is, an account of the
Afflictions and Disturbances of the Churches and the Conflicts with the
Indians.  The plan of the work thus united that of Fuller's _Worthies
of England_ and _Church History_ with that of Wood's _Athenae
Oxonienses_ and Fox's _Book of Martyrs_.

Mather's prose was of the kind which the English Commonwealth writers
used.  He was younger by a generation than Dryden; but as literary
fashions are slower to change in a colony than in the {349} mother
country, that nimble English which Dryden and the Restoration essayists
introduced had not yet displaced in New England the older manner.
Mather wrote in the full and pregnant style of Taylor, Milton, Browne,
Fuller, and Burton, a style ponderous with learning and stiff with
allusions, digressions, conceits, anecdotes, and quotations from the
Greek and the Latin.  A page of the _Magnalia_ is almost as richly
mottled with italics as one from the _Anatomy of Melancholy_, and the
quaintness which Mather caught from his favorite Fuller disports itself
in textual pun and marginal anagram and the fantastic sub-titles of his
books and chapters.  He speaks of Thomas Hooker as having "_angled_
many scores of souls into the kingdom of heaven," anagrammatizes Mrs.
Hutchinson's surname into "the non-such;" and having occasion to speak
of Mr. Urian Oaks's election to the presidency of Harvard College,
enlarges upon the circumstance as follows:

"We all know that Britain knew nothing more famous than their ancient
sect of DRUIDS; the philosophers, whose order, they say, was instituted
by one _Samothes_, which is in English as much as to say, _an heavenly
man_.  The _Celtic_ name _Deru_, for an _Oak_ was that from whence they
received their denomination; as at this very day the _Welch_ call this
tree _Drew_, and this order of men _Derwyddon_.  But there are no small
antiquaries who derive this _oaken religion_ and _philosophy_ from the
_Oaks of Mamre_, where the Patriarch _Abraham_ {350} had as well a
dwelling as an _altar_.  That _Oaken-Plain_ and the eminent OAK under
which _Abraham_ lodged was extant in the days of _Constantine_, as
_Isidore_, _Jerom_, and _Sozomen_ have assured us.  Yea, there are
shrewd probabilities that _Noah_ himself had lived in this very
_Oak-plain_ before him; for this very place was called _Oyye_, which
was the name of _Noah_, so styled from the _Oggyan_ (_subcineritiis
panibus_) sacrifices, which he did use to offer in this renowned
_Grove_.  And it was from this example that the ancients and
particularly that the Druids of the nations, chose _oaken_ retirements
for their studies.  Reader, let us now, upon another account, behold
the students of _Harvard College_, as a rendezvous of happy _Druids_,
under the influences of so rare a president.  But, alas! our joy must
be short-lived, for on _July_ 25, 1681, the stroke of a sudden death
felled the _tree_,

  "Qui tantum inter caput extulit omnes
  Quantum lenta solent inter viberna cypressi.

"Mr. _Oakes_ thus being transplanted into the better world, the
presidentship was immediately tendered unto _Mr. Increase Mather_."

This will suffice as an example of the bad taste and laborious pedantry
which disfigured Mather's writing.  In its substance the book is a
perfect thesaurus; and inasmuch as nothing is unimportant in the
history of the beginnings of such a nation as this is and is destined
to be, the _Magnalia_ will always remain a valuable and interesting
work.  {351} Cotton Mather, born in 1663, was of the second generation
of Americans, his grandfather being of the immigration, but his father
a native of Dorchester, Mass.  A comparison of his writings and of the
writings of his contemporaries with the works of Bradford, Winthrop,
Hooker, and others of the original colonists, shows that the simple and
heroic faith of the Pilgrims had hardened into formalism and doctrinal
rigidity.  The leaders of the Puritan exodus, notwithstanding their
intolerance of errors in belief, were comparatively broad-minded men.
They were sharers in a great national movement, and they came over when
their cause was warm with the glow of martyrdom and on the eve of its
coming triumph at home.  After the Restoration, in 1660, the currents
of national feeling no longer circulated so freely through this distant
member of the body politic, and thought in America became more
provincial.  The English dissenters, though socially at a disadvantage
as compared with the Church of England, had the great benefit of living
at the center of national life, and of feeling about them the pressure
of vast bodies of people who did not think as they did.  In New
England, for many generations, the dominant sect had things all its own
way, a condition of things which is not healthy for any sect or party.
Hence Mather and the divines of his time appear in their writings very
much like so many Puritan bishops, jealous of their prerogatives,
magnifying their apostolate, and careful to maintain their {352}
authority over the laity.  Mather had an appetite for the marvelous,
and took a leading part in the witchcraft trials, of which he gave an
account in his _Wonders of the Invisible World_, 1693.  To the quaint
pages of the Magnalia our modern authors have resorted as to a
collection of romances or fairy tales.  Whittier, for example, took
from thence the subject of his poem _The Garrison of Cape Anne_; and
Hawthorne embodied in _Grandfather's Chair_ the most elaborate of
Mather's biographies.  This was the life of Sir William Phipps, who,
from being a poor shepherd boy in his native province of Maine, rose to
be the royal governor of Massachusetts, and the story of whose
wonderful adventures in raising the freight of a Spanish treasure ship,
sunk on a reef near Port de la Plata, reads less like sober fact than
like some ancient fable, with talk of the Spanish main, bullion, and
plate and jewels and "pieces of eight."

Of Mather's generation was Samuel Sewall, Chief Justice of
Massachusetts, a singularly gracious and venerable figure, who is
intimately known through his Diary kept from 1673 to 1729.  This has
been compared with the more famous diary of Samuel Pepys, which it
resembles in its confidential character and the completeness of its
self-revelation, but to which it is as much inferior in historic
interest as "the petty province here" was inferior in political and
social importance to "Britain far away."  For the most part it is a
chronicle of small beer, the diarist jotting down the minutiae {353} of
his domestic life and private affairs, even to the recording of such
haps as this: "March 23, I had my hair cut by G. Barret."  But it also
affords instructive glimpses of public events, such as King Philip's
War, the Quaker troubles, the English Revolution of 1688, etc.  It
bears about the same relation to New England history at the close of
the seventeenth century as Bradford's and Winthrop's journals bear to
that of the first generation.  Sewall was one of the justices who
presided at the trial of the Salem witches; but for the part which he
took in that wretched affair he made such atonement as was possible, by
open confession of his mistake and his remorse in the presence of the
Church.  Sewall was one of the first writers against African slavery,
in his brief tract, _The Selling of Joseph_, printed at Boston in 1700.
His _Phenomena Quaedam Apocalyptica_, a mystical interpretation of
prophecies concerning the New Jerusalem, which he identifies with
America, is remembered only because Whittier, in his _Prophecy of
Samuel Sewall_, has paraphrased one poetic passage, which shows a
loving observation of nature very rare in our colonial writers.

Of poetry, indeed, or, in fact, of pure literature, in the narrower
sense--that is, of the imaginative representation of life--there was
little or none in the colonial period.  There were no novels, no plays,
no satires, and--until the example of the _Spectator_ had begun to work
on this side the water--no experiments even at the lighter forms {354}
of essay writing, character sketches, and literary criticism.  There
was verse of a certain kind, but the most generous stretch of the term
would hardly allow it to be called poetry.  Many of the early divines
of New England relieved their pens, in the intervals of sermon writing,
of epigrams, elegies, eulogistic verses, and similar grave trifles
distinguished by the crabbed wit of the so-called "metaphysical poets,"
whose manner was in fashion when the Puritans left England; the manner
of Donne and Cowley, and those darlings of the New English muse, the
_Emblems_ of Quarles and the _Divine Week_ of Du Bartas, as translated
by Sylvester.  The _Magnalia_ contains a number of these things in
Latin and English, and is itself well bolstered with complimentary
introductions in meter by the author's friends.  For example:



  _Tuos Tecum Ornasti_.

  "While thus the dead in thy rare pages rise
  _Thine, with thyself, thou dost immortalise_,
  To view the odds thy learned lives invite
  'Twixt Eleutherian and Edomite.
  But all succeeding ages shall despair
  A fitting monument for thee to _rear_.
  Thy own rich pen (peace, silly Momus, peace!)
  Hath given them a lasting _writ of ease_."

The epitaphs and mortuary verses were especially ingenious in the
matter of puns, anagrams, {355} and similar conceits.  The death of the
Rev. Samuel Stone, of Hartford, afforded an opportunity of this sort
not to be missed, and his threnodist accordingly celebrated him as a
"whetstone," a "loadstone," an "Ebenezer"--

  "A stone for kingly David's use so fit
  As would not fail Goliah's front to hit," etc.

The most characteristic, popular, and widely circulated poem of
colonial New England was Michael Wigglesworth's _Day of Doom_ (1662), a
kind of doggerel _Inferno_, which went through nine editions, and "was
the solace," says Lowell, "of every fireside, the flicker of the
pine-knots by which it was conned perhaps adding a livelier relish to
its premonitions of eternal combustion."  Wigglesworth had not the
technical equipment of a poet.  His verse is sing-song, his language
rude and monotonous, and the lurid horrors of his material hell are
more likely to move mirth than fear in a modern reader.  But there are
an unmistakable vigor of imagination and a sincerity of belief in his
gloomy poem which hold it far above contempt, and easily account for
its universal currency among a people like the Puritans.  One stanza
has been often quoted for its grim concession to unregenerate infants
of "the easiest room in hell"--a _limbus infantum_ which even Origen
need not have scrupled at.

The most authoritative expounder of New England Calvinism was Jonathan
Edwards {356} (1703-1758), a native of Connecticut, and a graduate of
Yale, who was minister for more than twenty years over the Church in
Northampton, Mass., afterward missionary to the Stockbridge Indians,
and at the time of his death had just been inaugurated president of
Princeton College.  By virtue of his _Inquiry into the Freedom of the
Will_, 1754, Edwards holds rank as the subtlest metaphysician of his
age.  This treatise was composed to justify, on philosophical grounds,
the Calvinistic doctrines of foreordination and election by grace,
though its arguments are curiously coincident with those of the
scientific necessitarians, whose conclusions are as far asunder from
Edwards's "as from the center thrice to the utmost pole."  His writings
belong to theology rather than to literature, but there is an intensity
and a spiritual elevation about them, apart from the profundity and
acuteness of the thought, which lift them here and there into the finer
ether of purely emotional or imaginative art.  He dwelt rather upon the
terrors than the comfort of the word, and his chosen themes were the
dogmas of predestination, original sin, total depravity, and eternal
punishment.  The titles of his sermons are significant: _Men Naturally
God's Enemies, Wrath upon the Wicked to the Uttermost, The Final
Judgment_, etc.  "A natural man," he wrote in the first of these
discourses, "has a heart like the heart of a devil.~.~.~.  The heart of
a natural man is as destitute of love to God as a dead, stiff, cold
corpse is of vital heat."  Perhaps the most {357} famous of Edwards's
sermons was _Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God_, preached at
Enfield, Conn., July 8, 1741, "at a time of great awakenings," and upon
the ominous text, _Their foot shall slide in due time_.  "The God that
holds you over the pit of hell" runs an oft-quoted passage from this
powerful denunciation of the wrath to come, "much as one holds a spider
or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully
provoked.~.~.~.  You are ten thousand times more abominable in his eyes
than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.~.~.~.  You hang by a
slender thread, with the flames of divine wrath flashing about
it.~.~.~.  If you cry to God to pity you, he will be so far from
pitying you in your doleful case that he will only tread you under
foot.~.~.~.  He will crush out your blood and make it fly, and it shall
be sprinkled on his garments so as to stain all his raiment."  But
Edwards was a rapt soul, possessed with the love as well as the fear of
the God, and there are passages of sweet and exalted feeling in his
_Treatise Concerning Religious Affections_, 1746.  Such is his portrait
of Sarah Pierpont, "a young lady in New Haven," who afterward became
his wife, and who "will sometimes go about from place to place singing
sweetly, and no one knows for what.  She loves to be alone, walking in
the fields and groves, and seems to have some one invisible always
conversing with her."  Edwards's printed works number thirty-six
titles.  A complete edition of them in ten volumes was published in
1829 by his {358} great-grandson, Sereno Dwight.  The memoranda from
Edwards's note-books, quoted by his editor and biographer, exhibit a
remarkable precocity.  Even as a school-boy and a college student he
had made deep guesses in physics as well as metaphysics, and, as might
have been predicted of a youth of his philosophical insight and ideal
cast of mind, he had early anticipated Berkeley in denying the
existence of matter.  In passing from Mather to Edwards, we step from
the seventeenth to the eighteenth century.  There is the same
difference between them in style and turn of thought as between Milton
and Locke, or between Fuller and Dryden.  The learned digressions, the
witty conceits, the perpetual interlarding of the text with scraps of
Latin, have fallen off, even as the full-bottomed wig and the clerical
gown and bands have been laid aside for the undistinguishing dress of
the modern minister.  In Edwards's English all is simple, precise,
direct, and business-like.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who was strictly contemporary with
Edwards, was a contrast to him in every respect.  As Edwards represents
the spirituality and other-worldliness of Puritanism, Franklin stands
for the worldly and secular side of American character, and he
illustrates the development of the New England Englishman into the
modern Yankee.  Clear rather than subtle, without ideality or romance
or fineness of emotion or poetic lift, intensely practical and
utilitarian, broad-minded, inventive, shrewd, versatile, Franklin's
sturdy figure {359} became typical of his time and his people.  He was
the first and the only man of letters in colonial America who acquired
a cosmopolitan fame, and impressed his characteristic Americanism upon
the mind of Europe.  He was the embodiment of common sense and of the
useful virtues; with the enterprise but without the nervousness of his
modern compatriots, uniting the philosopher's openness of mind with the
sagacity and quickness of resource of the self-made business man.  He
was representative also of his age, an age of _aufklaerung_,
_eclaircissement_, or "clearing up."  By the middle of the eighteenth
century a change had taken place in American society.  Trade had
increased between the different colonies; Boston, New York, and
Philadelphia were considerable towns; democratic feeling was spreading;
over forty newspapers were published in America at the outbreak of the
Revolution; politics claimed more attention than formerly, and theology
less.  With all this intercourse and mutual reaction of the various
colonies upon one another, the isolated theocracy of New England
naturally relaxed somewhat of its grip on the minds of the laity.  When
Franklin was a printer's apprentice in Boston, setting type on his
brother's _New England Courant_, the fourth American newspaper, he got
hold of an odd volume of the _Spectator_, and formed his style upon
Addison, whose manner he afterward imitated in his _Busy-Body_ papers
in the Philadelphia _Weekly Mercury_.  He also read Locke and the
English deistical {360} writers, Collins and Shaftesbury, and became
himself a deist and free-thinker; and subsequently when practicing his
trade in London, in 1724-26, he made the acquaintance of Dr.
Mandeville, author of the _Fable of the Bees_, at a pale-ale house in
Cheapside, called "The Horns," where the famous free-thinker presided
over a club of wits and boon companions.  Though a native of Boston,
Franklin is identified with Philadelphia, whither he arrived in 1723, a
runaway 'prentice boy, "whose stock of cash consisted of a Dutch dollar
and about a shilling in copper."  The description in his
_Autobiography_ of his walking up Market Street munching a loaf of
bread, and passing his future wife, standing on her father's doorstep,
has become almost as familiar as the anecdote about Whittington and his

It was in the practical sphere that Franklin was greatest, as an
originator and executor of projects for the general welfare.  The list
of his public services is almost endless.  He organized the
Philadelphia fire department and street cleaning service, and the
colonial postal system which grew into the United States Post Office
Department.  He started the Philadelphia public library, the American
Philosophical Society, the University of Pennsylvania, and the first
American magazine, _The General Magazine and Historical Chronicle_; so
that he was almost singly the father of whatever intellectual life the
Pennsylvania colony could boast of.  In 1754, when commissioners from
the colonies met at Albany, Franklin proposed a plan, which was {361}
adopted, for the union of all the colonies under one government.  But
all these things, as well as his mission to England in 1757, on behalf
of the Pennsylvania Assembly in its dispute with the proprietaries; his
share in the Declaration of Independence--of which he was one of the
signers--and his residence in France as Embassador of the United
Colonies, belong to the political history of the country; to the
history of American science belong his celebrated experiments in
electricity, and his benefits to mankind in both of these departments
were aptly summed up in the famous epigram of the French statesman

  "_Erupuit coelo fulmen sceptrumque tyrannis_."

Franklin's success in Europe was such as no American had yet achieved,
as few Americans since him have achieved.  Hume and Voltaire were among
his acquaintances and his professed admirers.  In France he was fairly
idolized, and when he died Mirabeau announced, "The genius which has
freed America and poured a flood of light over Europe has returned to
the bosom of the Divinity."

Franklin was a great man, but hardly a great writer, though as a
writer, too, he had many admirable and some great qualities.  Among
these were the crystal clearness and simplicity of his style.  His more
strictly literary performances, such as his essays after the
_Spectator_, hardly rise above mediocrity, and are neither better nor
worse than other {362} imitations of Addison.  But in some of his
lighter bagatelles there are a homely wisdom and a charming playfulness
which have won them enduring favor.  Such are his famous story of the
_Whistle_, his _Dialogue between Franklin and the Gout_, his letters to
Madame Helvetius, and his verses entitled _Paper_.  The greater portion
of his writings consists of papers on general politics, commerce, and
political economy, contributions to the public questions of his day.
These are of the nature of journalism rather than of literature, and
many of them were published in his newspaper, the _Pennsylvania
Gazette_, the medium through which for many years he most strongly
influenced American opinion.  The most popular of his writings were his
_Autobiography_ and _Poor Richard's Almanac_.  The former of these was
begun in 1771, resumed in 1788, but never completed.  It has remained
the most widely current book in our colonial literature.  _Poor
Richard's Almanac_, begun in 1732 and continued for about twenty-five
years, had an annual circulation of ten thousand copies.  It was filled
with proverbial sayings in prose and verse, inculcating the virtues of
industry, honesty, and frugality.[1]  Some of these were original with
Franklin, others were selected from the proverbial wisdom of the ages,
but a new force was given {363} them by pungent turns of expression.
Poor Richard's saws were such as these: "Little strokes fell great
oaks;" "Three removes are as bad as a fire;" "Early to bed and early to
rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise;" "Never leave that till
to-morrow which you can do to-day;" "What maintains one vice would
bring up two children;" "It is hard for an empty bag to stand upright."

Now and then there are truths of a higher kind than these in Franklin,
and Sainte Beuve, the great French critic, quotes, as an example of his
occasional finer moods, the saying, "Truth and sincerity have a certain
distinguishing native luster about them which cannot be counterfeited;
they are like fire and flame that cannot be painted."  But the sage who
invented the Franklin stove had no disdain of small utilities; and in
general the last word of his philosophy is well expressed in a passage
of his _Autobiography_: "Human felicity is produced not so much by
great pieces of good fortune, that seldom happen, as by little
advantages that occur every day; thus, if you teach a poor young man to
shave himself and keep his razor in order, you may contribute more to
the happiness of his life than in giving him a thousand guineas."

1. Captain John Smith.  A True Relation of Virginia.  Deane's edition.
Boston: 1866.

2. Cotton Mather.  Magnalia Christi Americana.  Hartford: 1820.


3. Samuel Sewall.  Diary.  Massachusetts Historical Collections.  Fifth
Series.  Vols. v, vi, and vii.  Boston: 1878.

4. Jonathan Edwards.  Eight Sermons on Various Occasions.  Vol. vii. of
Edwards's Words.  Edited by Sereno Dwight.  New York: 1829.

5. Benjamin Franklin.  Autobiography.  Edited by John Bigelow.
Philadelphia: 1869.  [J. B. Lippincott & Co.]

6. Essays and Bagatelles.  Vol. ii. of Franklin's Works.  Edited by
David Sparks.  Boston: 1836.

7. Moses Coit Tyler.  A History of American Literature.  1607-1765.
New York: 1878.  [G. P. Putnam's Sons.]

[1] _The Way to Wealth, Plan for Saving One Hundred Thousand Pounds,
Rules of Health, Advice to a Young Tradesman, The Way to Make Money
Plenty in Every Man's Pocket, etc_.





It will be convenient to treat the fifty years which elapsed between
the meeting at New York, in 1765, of a Congress of delegates from nine
colonies, to protest against the Stamp Act, and the close of the second
war with England, in 1815, as, for literary purposes, a single period.
This half century was the formative era of the American nation.
Historically it is divisible into the years of revolution and the years
of construction.  But the men who led the movement for independence
were also, in great part, the same who guided in shaping the
Constitution of the new republic, and the intellectual impress of the
whole period is one and the same.  The character of the age was as
distinctly political as that of the colonial era--in New England at
least--was theological; and literature must still continue to borrow
its interest from history.  Pure literature, or what, for want of a
better term we call _belles lettres_, was not born in America until the
nineteenth century was well under way.  It is true that the Revolution
had its humor, its poetry, and even its fiction; but these {366} were
strictly for the home market.  They hardly penetrated the consciousness
of Europe at all, and are not to be compared with the contemporary work
of English authors like Cowper and Sheridan and Burke.  Their
importance for us to-day is rather antiquarian than literary, though
the most noteworthy of them will be mentioned in due course in the
present chapter.  It is also true that one or two of Irving's early
books fall within the last years of the period now under consideration.
But literary epochs overlap one another at the edges, and these
writings may best be postponed to a subsequent chapter.

Among the most characteristic products of the intellectual stir that
preceded and accompanied the revolutionary movement, were the speeches
of political orators like Samuel Adams, James Otis, and Josiah Quincy
in Massachusetts, and Patrick Henry in Virginia.  Oratory is the art of
a free people, and as in the forensic assemblies of Greece and Rome,
and in the Parliament of Great Britain, so in the conventions and
congresses of revolutionary America it sprang up and flourished
naturally.  The age, moreover, was an eloquent, not to say a rhetorical
age; and the influence of Johnson's orotund prose, of the declamatory
_Letters of Junius_, and of the speeches of Burke, Fox, Sheridan, and
the elder Pitt is perceptible in the debates of our early congresses.
The fame of a great orator, like that of a great actor, is largely
traditionary.  The spoken word transferred to the printed page loses
{367} the glow which resided in the man and the moment.  A speech is
good if it attains its aim, if it moves the hearers to the end which is
sought.  But the fact that this end is often temporary and occasional,
rather than universal and permanent explains why so few speeches are
really literature.

If this is true, even where the words of an orator are preserved
exactly as they were spoken, it is doubly true when we have only the
testimony of contemporaries as to the effect which the oration
produced.  The fiery utterances of Adams, Otis, and Quincy were either
not reported at all or very imperfectly reported, so that posterity can
judge of them only at second hand.  Patrick Henry has fared better,
many of his orations being preserved in substance, if not in the
letter, in Wirt's biography.  Of these the most famous was the defiant
speech in the Convention of Delegates, March 28, 1775, throwing down
the gauge of battle to the British ministry.  The ringing sentences of
this challenge are still declaimed by school boys, and many of them
remain as familiar as household words.  "I have but one lamp by which
my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience.  I know of no
way of judging of the future but by the past.~.~.~.  Gentlemen may cry
peace, peace, but there is no peace.~.~.~.  Is life so dear, or peace
so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery!
Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take, but
as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"  The {368} eloquence of
Patrick Henry was fervid rather than weighty or rich.  But if such
specimens of the oratory of the American patriots as have come down to
us fail to account for the wonderful impression that their words are
said to have produced upon their fellow-countrymen, we should remember
that they are at a disadvantage when read instead of heard.  The
imagination should supply all those accessories which gave them
vitality when first pronounced: the living presence and voice of the
speaker; the listening Senate; the grave excitement of the hour and of
the impending conflict.  The wordiness and exaggeration; the highly
latinized diction; the rhapsodies about freedom which hundreds of
Fourth-of-July addresses have since turned into platitudes--all these
coming hot from the lips of men whose actions in the field confirmed
the earnestness of their speech--were effective enough in the crisis
and for the purpose to which they were addressed.

The press was an agent in the cause of liberty no less potent than the
platform, and patriots such as Adams, Otis, Quincy, Warren, and Hancock
wrote constantly for the newspapers essays and letters on the public
questions of the time signed "Vindex," "Hyperion," "Independent,"
"Brutus," "Cassius," and the like, and couched in language which to the
taste of to-day seems rather over rhetorical.  Among the most important
of these political essays were the _Circular Letter to each Colonial
Legislature_, published by Adams {369} and Otis in 1768; Quincy's
_Observations on the Boston Port Bill_, 1774, and Otis's _Rights of the
British Colonies_, a pamphlet of one hundred and twenty pages, printed
in 1764.  No collection of Otis's writings has ever been made.  The
life of Quincy, published by his son, preserves for posterity his
journals and correspondence, his newspaper essays, and his speeches at
the bar, taken from the Massachusetts law reports.

Among the political literature which is of perennial interest to the
American people are such State documents as the Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the messages,
inaugural addresses, and other writings of our early presidents.
Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, and the
father of the Democratic party, was the author of the Declaration of
Independence, whose opening sentences have become commonplaces in the
memory of all readers.  One sentence in particular has been as a
shibboleth, or war-cry, or declaration of faith among Democrats of all
shades of opinion: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all
men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness."  Not so familiar to modern readers is the
following, which an English historian of our literature calls "the most
eloquent clause of that great document," and "the most interesting
suppressed passage in American literature."  Jefferson {370} was a
southerner, but even at that early day the South had grown sensitive on
the subject of slavery, and Jefferson's arraignment of King George for
promoting the "peculiar institution" was left out from the final draft
of the Declaration in deference to southern members.

"He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most
sacred rights of life and liberty, in the persons of a distant people
who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in
another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation
thither.  This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is
the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain.  Determined to keep
open a market where men should be bought and sold, he has prostituted
his negative by suppressing every legislative attempt to restrain this
execrable commerce.  And, that this assemblage of horrors might want no
fact of distinguished dye, he is now exciting those very people to rise
in arms against us, and purchase that liberty of which he deprived them
by murdering the people upon whom he obtruded them, and thus paying off
former crimes committed against the liberties of one people by crimes
which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."

The tone of apology or defense which Calhoun and other southern
statesmen afterward adopted on the subject of slavery was not taken by
the men of Jefferson's generation.  Another famous {371} Virginian,
John Randolph of Roanoke, himself a slaveholder, in his speech on the
militia bill in the House of Representatives, December 10, 1811, said:
"I speak from facts when I say that the night-bell never tolls for fire
in Richmond that the mother does not hug her infant more closely to her
bosom."  This was said _apropos_ of the danger of a servile
insurrection in the event of a war with England--a war which actually
broke out in the year following, but was not attended with the slave
rising which Randolph predicted.  Randolph was a thorough-going "States
rights" man, and though opposed to slavery on principle, he cried hands
off to any interference by the General Government with the domestic
institutions of the States.  His speeches _read_ better than most of
his contemporaries.  They are interesting in their exhibit of a bitter
and eccentric individuality, witty, incisive, and expressed in a
pungent and familiar style which contrasts refreshingly with the
diplomatic language and glittering generalities of most congressional
oratory, whose verbiage seems to keep its subject always at arm's

Another noteworthy writing of Jefferson's was his Inaugural Address of
March 4, 1801, with its programme of "equal and exact justice to all
men, of whatever state or persuasion, religious or political; peace,
commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances
with none; the support of the State governments in all their
rights;~.~.~. absolute acquiescence in the decisions {372} of the
majority;~.~.~. the supremacy of the civil over the military authority;
economy in the public expense; freedom of religion, freedom of the
press, and freedom of person under the protection of the _habeas
corpus_, and trial by juries impartially selected."

During his six years' residence in France, as American Minister,
Jefferson had become indoctrinated with the principles of French
democracy.  His main service and that of his party--the Democratic or,
as it was then called, the Republican party--to the young republic was
in its insistence upon toleration of all beliefs and upon the freedom
of the individual from all forms of governmental restraint.  Jefferson
has some claims, to rank as an author in general literature.  Educated
at William and Mary College in the old Virginia capital, Williamsburg,
he became the founder of the University of Virginia, in which he made
special provision for the study of Anglo-Saxon, and in which the
liberal scheme of instruction and discipline was conformed, in theory
at least, to the "university idea."  His _Notes on Virginia_ are not
without literary quality, and one description, in particular, has been
often quoted--the passage of the Potomac through the Blue Ridge--in
which is this poetically imaginative touch: "The mountain being cloven
asunder, she presents to your eye, through the cleft, a small catch of
smooth blue horizon, at an infinite distance in the plain country,
inviting you, as it were, from the riot and {373} tumult roaring
around, to pass through the breach and participate of the calm below."

After the conclusion of peace with England, in 1783, political
discussion centered about the Constitution, which in 1788 took the
place of the looser Articles of Confederation adopted in 1778.  The
Constitution as finally ratified was a compromise between two
parties--the Federalists, who wanted a strong central government, and
the Anti-Federals (afterward called Republicans, or Democrats), who
wished to preserve State sovereignty.  The debates on the adoption of
the Constitution, both in the General Convention of the States, which
met at Philadelphia in 1787, and in the separate State Conventions
called to ratify its action, form a valuable body of comment and
illustration upon the instrument itself.  One of the most notable of
the speeches in opposition was Patrick Henry's address before the
Virginia Convention.  "That this is a consolidated government," he
said, "is demonstrably clear; and the danger of such a government is,
to my mind, very striking."  The leader of the Federal party was
Alexander Hamilton, the ablest constructive intellect among the
statesmen of our revolutionary era, of whom Talleyrand said that he
"had never known his equal;" whom Guizot classed with "the men who have
best known the vital principles and fundamental conditions of a
government worthy of its name and mission."  Hamilton's speech _On the
Expediency of Adopting the Federal Constitution_, delivered in {374}
the Convention of New York, June 24, 1788, was a masterly statement of
the necessity and advantages of the Union.  But the most complete
exposition of the constitutional philosophy of the Federal party was
the series of eighty-five papers entitled the _Federalist_, printed
during the years 1787-88, and mostly in the _Independent Journal_ of
New York, over the signature "_Publius_."  These were the work of
Hamilton, of John Jay, afterward Chief Justice, and of James Madison,
afterward President of the United States.  The _Federalist_ papers,
though written in a somewhat ponderous diction, are among the great
landmarks of American history, and were in themselves a political
education to the generation that read them.  Hamilton was a brilliant
and versatile figure, a persuasive orator, a forcible writer, and as
Secretary of the Treasury under Washington the foremost of American
financiers.  He was killed, in a duel, by Aaron Burr, at Hoboken, in

The Federalists were victorious, and under the provisions of the new
Constitution George Washington was inaugurated first President of the
United States, on March 4, 1789.  Washington's writings have been
collected by Jared Sparks.  They consist of journals, letters,
messages, addresses, and public documents, for the most part plain and
business-like in manner, and without any literary pretensions.  The
most elaborate and the best known of them is his _Farewell Address_,
issued on his retirement from the presidency in 1796.  In {375} the
composition of this he was assisted by Madison, Hamilton, and Jay.  It
is wise in substance and dignified, though somewhat stilted in
expression.  The correspondence of John Adams, second President of the
United States, and his diary, kept from 1755-85, should also be
mentioned as important sources for a full knowledge of this period.

In the long life-and-death struggle of Great Britain against the French
Republic and its successor, Napoleon Bonaparte, the Federalist party in
this country naturally sympathized with England, and the Jeffersonian
Democracy with France.  The Federalists, who distrusted the sweeping
abstractions of the French Revolution, and clung to the conservative
notions of a checked and balanced freedom, inherited from English
precedent, were accused of monarchical and aristocratic leanings.  On
their side they were not slow to accuse their adversaries of French
atheism and French Jacobinism.  By a singular reversal of the natural
order of things the strength of the Federalist party was in New
England, which was socially democratic, while the strength of the
Jeffersonians was in the South, whose social structure--owing to the
system of slavery--was intensely aristocratic.  The war of 1812 with
England was so unpopular in New England, by reason of the injury which
it threatened to inflict on its commerce, that the Hartford Convention
of 1814 was more than suspected of a design to bring about the
secession of New England from the Union.  A good deal of oratory was
called {376} out by the debates on the commercial treaty with Great
Britain, negotiated by Jay in 1795, by the Alien and Sedition Law of
1798, and by other pieces of Federalist legislation, previous to the
downfall of that party and the election of Jefferson to the presidency
in 1800.  The best of the Federalist orators during those years was
Fisher Ames, of Massachusetts, and the best of his orations was,
perhaps, his speech on the British treaty in the House of
Representatives, April 18, 1796.  The speech was, in great measure, a
protest against American chauvinism and the violation of international
obligations.  "It has been said the world ought to rejoice if Britain
was sunk in the sea; if where there are now men and wealth and laws and
liberty, there was no more than a sand bank for sea-monsters to fatten
on; space for the storms of the ocean to mingle in conflict.~.~.~.
What is patriotism?  Is it a narrow affection for the spot where a man
was born?  Are the very clods where we tread entitled to this ardent
preference because they are greener?~.~.~.  I see no exception to the
respect that is paid among nations to the law of good faith.~.~.~.  It
is observed by barbarians--a whiff of tobacco smoke or a string of
beads gives not merely binding force but sanctity to treaties.  Even in
Algiers a truce may be bought for money, but, when ratified, even
Algiers is too wise or too just to disown and annul its obligation."
Ames was a scholar, and his speeches are more finished and thoughtful,
more _literary_, in a way, than those {377} of his contemporaries.  His
eulogiums on Washington and Hamilton are elaborate tributes, rather
excessive, perhaps, in laudation and in classical allusions.  In all
the oratory of the revolutionary period there is nothing equal in deep
and condensed energy of feeling to the single clause in Lincoln's
Gettysburg Address, "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall
not have died in vain."

A prominent figure during and after the War of the Revolution was
Thomas Paine, or, as he was somewhat disrespectfully called, "Tom
Paine."  He was a dissenting minister who, conceiving himself ill
treated by the British Government, came to Philadelphia in 1774 and
threw himself heart and soul into the colonial cause.  His pamphlet,
_Common Sense_, issued in 1776, began with the famous words: "These are
the times that try men's souls."  This was followed by the _Crisis_, a
series of political essays advocating independence and the
establishment of a republic, published in periodical form, though at
irregular intervals.  Paine's rough and vigorous advocacy was of great
service to the American patriots.  His writings were popular and his
arguments were of a kind easily understood by plain people, addressing
themselves to the common sense, the prejudices and passions of
unlettered readers.  He afterward went to France and took an active
part in the popular movement there, crossing swords with Burke in his
_Rights of Man_, 1791-92, written in defense of the French Revolution.
He {378} was one of the two foreigners who sat in the Convention; but
falling under suspicion during the days of the terror, he was committed
to the prison of the Luxembourg and only released upon the fall of
Robespierre July 27, 1794.  While in prison he wrote a portion of his
best known work, the _Age of Reason_.  This appeared in two parts in
1794 and 1795, the manuscript of the first part having been intrusted
to Joel Barlow, the American poet, who happened to be in Paris when
Paine was sent to prison.

The _Age of Reason_ damaged Paine's reputation in America, where the
name of "Tom Paine" became a stench in the nostrils of the godly and a
synonym for atheism and blasphemy.  His book was denounced from a
hundred pulpits, and copies of it were carefully locked away from the
sight of "the young," whose religious beliefs it might undermine.  It
was, in effect, a crude and popular statement of the Deistic argument
against Christianity.  What the cutting logic and persiflage--the
_sourire hideux_--of Voltaire had done in France, Paine, with coarser
materials, essayed to do for the English-speaking populations.  Deism
was in the air of the time; Franklin, Jefferson, Ethan Alien, Joel
Barlow, and other prominent Americans were openly or unavowedly
deistic.  Free thought, somehow, went along with democratic opinions,
and was a part of the liberal movement of the age.  Paine was a man
without reverence, imagination, or religious feeling.  He was no
scholar, and he was {379} not troubled by any perception of the deeper
and subtler aspects of the questions which he touched.  In his
examination of the Old and New Testaments, he insisted that the Bible
was an imposition and a forgery, full of lies, absurdities, and
obscenities.  Supernatural Christianity, with all its mysteries and
miracles, was a fraud practiced by priests upon the people, and
churches were instruments of oppression in the hands of tyrants.  This
way of accounting for Christianity would not now be accepted by even
the most "advanced" thinkers.  The contest between skepticism and
revelation has long since shifted to other grounds.  Both the
philosophy and the temper of the _Age of Reason_ belong to the
eighteenth century.  But Paine's downright pugnacious method of attack
was effective with shrewd, half-educated doubters, and in America
well-thumbed copies of his book passed from hand to hand in many a
rural tavern or store, where the village atheist wrestled in debate
with the deacon or the school-master.  Paine rested his argument
against Christianity upon the familiar grounds of the incredibility of
miracles, the falsity of prophecy, the cruelty or immorality of Moses
and David and other Old Testament worthies, the disagreement of the
evangelists in their gospels, etc.  The spirit of his book and his
competence as a critic are illustrated by his saying of the New
Testament: "Any person who could tell a story of an apparition, or of a
man's walking, could have made such books, for the story is most
wretchedly told.  {380} The sum total of a parson's learning is a b,
ab, and hic, haec, hoc, and this is more than sufficient to have
enabled them, had they lived at the time, to have written all the books
of the New Testament."

When we turn from the political and controversial writings of the
Revolution to such lighter literature as existed, we find little that
would deserve mention in a more crowded period.  The few things in this
kind that have kept afloat on the current of time--_rari nantes in
gurgite vasto_--attract attention rather by reason of their fewness
than of any special excellence that they have.  During the eighteenth
century American literature continued to accommodate itself to changes
of caste in the old country.  The so-called classical or Augustan
writers of the reign of Queen Anne replaced other models of style: the
_Spectator_ set the fashion of almost all of our lighter prose, from
Franklin's _Busybody_ down to the time of Irving, who perpetuated the
Addisonian tradition later than any English writer.  The influence of
Locke, of Dr. Johnson, and of the Parliamentary orators has already
been mentioned.  In poetry the example of Pope was dominant, so that we
find, for example, William Livingston, who became governor of New
Jersey and a member of the Continental Congress, writing in 1747 a poem
on _Philosophic Solitude_ which reproduces the trick of Pope's
antitheses and climaxes with the imagery of the _Rape of the Lock_, and
the didactic morality of the _Imitations_ from Horace and the _Moral


      "Let ardent heroes seek renown in arms,
  Pant after fame and rush to war's alarms;
  To shining palaces let fools resort
  And dunces cringe to be esteemed at court.
  Mine be the pleasure of a rural life,
  From noise remote and ignorant of strife,
  Far from the painted belle and white-gloved beau,
  The lawless masquerade and midnight show;
  From ladies, lap-dogs, courtiers, garters, stars,
  Fops, fiddlers, tyrants, emperors, and czars."

The most popular poem of the Revolutionary period was John Trumbull's
_McFingal_, published in part at Philadelphia in 1775, and in complete
shape at Hartford in 1782.  It went through more than thirty editions
in America, and was several times reprinted in England.  _McFingal_ was
a satire in four cantos, directed against the American Loyalists, and
modeled quite closely upon Butler's mock heroic poem, _Hudibras_.  As
Butler's hero sallies forth to put down May games and bear-baitings, so
the tory McFingal goes out against the liberty-poles and bon-fires of
the patriots, but is tarred and feathered, and otherwise ill entreated,
and finally takes refuge in the camp of General Gage at Boston.  The
poem is written with smartness and vivacity, attains often to drollery
and sometimes to genuine humor.  It remains one of the best of American
political satires, and unquestionably the most successful of the many
imitations of _Hudibras_, whose manner it follows so closely that some
of its lines, which {382} have passed into currency as proverbs, are
generally attributed to Butler.  For example:

  "No man e'er felt the halter draw
  With good opinion of the law."

Or this:

  "For any man with half an eye
  What stands before him may espy;
  But optics sharp it needs, I ween,
  To see what is not to be seen."

Trumbull's wit did not spare the vulnerable points of his own
countrymen, as in his sharp skit at slavery in the couplet about the
newly adopted flag of the Confederation:

  "Inscribed with inconsistent types
  Of Liberty and thirteen stripes."

Trumbull was one of a group of Connecticut literati, who made much
noise in their time as the "Hartford Wits."  The other members of the
group were Lemuel Hopkins, David Humphreys, Joel Barlow, Elihu Smith,
Theodore Dwight, and Richard Alsop.  Trumbull, Humphreys, and Barlow
had formed a friendship and a kind of literary partnership at Yale,
where they were contemporaries of each other and of Timothy Dwight.
During the war they served in the army in various capacities, and at
its close they found themselves again together for a few years at
Hartford, where they formed a club that met weekly for social and
literary purposes.  Their presence lent a sort of {383} _eclat_ to the
little provincial capital, and their writings made it for a time an
intellectual center quite as important as Boston or Philadelphia or New
York.  The Hartford Wits were staunch Federalists, and used their pens
freely in support of the administrations of Washington and Adams, and
in ridicule of Jefferson and the Democrats.  In 1786-87 Trumbull,
Hopkins, Barlow, and Humphreys published in the _New Haven Gazette_ a
series of satirical papers entitled the _Anarchiad,_ suggested by the
English _Rolliad_, and purporting to be extracts from an ancient epic
on "the Restoration of Chaos and Substantial Night."  These papers were
an effort to correct, by ridicule, the anarchic condition of things
which preceded the adoption of the Federal Constitution in 1789.  It
was a time of great confusion and discontent, when, in parts of the
country, Democratic mobs were protesting against the vote of five
years' pay by the Continental Congress to the officers of the American
army.  The _Anarchiad_ was followed by the _Echo_ and the _Political
Green House_, written mostly by Alsop and Theodore Dwight, and similar
in character and tendency to the earlier series.  Time has greatly
blunted the edge of these satires, but they were influential in their
day, and are an important part of the literature of the old Federalist

Humphreys became afterward distinguished in the diplomatic service, and
was, successively, embassador to Portugal and to Spain, whence he {384}
introduced into America the breed of merino sheep.  He had been on
Washington's staff during the war, and was several times an inmate of
his house at Mount Vernon, where he produced, in 1785, the best known
of his writings, _Mount Vernon_, an ode of a rather mild description,
which once had admirers.  Joel Barlow cuts a larger figure in
contemporary letters.  After leaving Hartford, in 1788, he went to
France, where he resided for seventeen years, made a fortune in
speculations, and became imbued with French principles, writing a song
in praise of the Guillotine, which gave great scandal to his old
friends at home.  In 1805 he returned to America, and built a fine
residence near Washington, which he called Kalorama.  Barlow's literary
fame, in his own generation, rested upon his prodigious epic, the
_Columbiad_.  The first form of this was the _Vision of Columbus_,
published at Hartford in 1787.  This he afterward recast and enlarged
into the _Columbiad_, issued in Philadelphia in 1807, and dedicated to
Robert Fulton, the inventor of the steamboat.  This was by far the most
sumptuous piece of book-making that had then been published in America,
and was embellished with plates executed by the best London engravers.

The _Columbiad_ was a grandiose performance, and has been the theme of
much ridicule by later writers.  Hawthorne suggested its being
dramatized, and put on to the accompaniment of artillery {385} and
thunder and lightning; and E. P. Whipple declared that "no critic in
the last fifty years had read more than a hundred lines of it."  In its
ambitiousness and its length it was symptomatic of the spirit of the
age which was patriotically determined to create, by _tour de force_, a
national literature of a size commensurate with the scale of American
nature and the destinies of the republic.  As America was bigger than
Argos and Troy, we ought to have a bigger epic than the _Iliad_.
Accordingly, Barlow makes Hesper fetch Columbus from his prison to a
"hill of vision," where he unrolls before his eye a panorama of the
history of America, or, as our bards then preferred to call it,
Columbia.  He shows him the conquest of Mexico by Cortez; the rise and
fall of the kingdom of the Incas in Peru; the settlements of the
English Colonies in North America; the old French and Indian Wars; the
Revolution, ending with a prophecy of the future greatness of the
new-born nation.  The machinery of the _Vision_ was borrowed from the
11th and 12th books of _Paradise Lost_.  Barlow's verse was the
ten-syllabled rhyming couplet of Pope, and his poetic style was
distinguished by the vague, glittering imagery and the false sublimity
which marked the epic attempts of the Queen Anne poets.  Though Barlow
was but a masquerader in true heroic, he showed himself a true poet in
mock heroic.  His _Hasty Pudding_, written in Savoy in 1793, and
dedicated to Mrs. Washington, was thoroughly American, in subject at
least, and its humor, though {386} over-elaborate, is good.  One
couplet in particular has prevailed against oblivion:

  "E'en in thy native regions how I blush
  To hear the Pennsylvanians call thee _Mush_!"

Another Connecticut poet--one of the seven who were fondly named "The
Pleiads of Connecticut"--was Timothy Dwight, whose _Conquest of
Canaan_, written shortly after his graduation from college, but not
published till 1785, was, like the _Columbiad_, an experiment toward
the domestication of the epic muse in America.  It was written like
Barlow's poem, in rhymed couplets, and the patriotic impulse of the
time shows oddly in the introduction of our Revolutionary War, by way
of episode, among the wars of Israel.  _Greenfield Hill_, 1794, was an
idyllic and moralizing poem, descriptive of a rural parish in
Connecticut of which the author was for a time the pastor.  It is not
quite without merit; shows plainly the influence of Goldsmith, Thomson,
and Beattie, but as a whole is tedious and tame.  Byron was amused that
there should have been an American poet christened Timothy, and it is
to be feared that amusement would have been the chief emotion kindled
in the breast of the wicked Voltaire had he ever chanced to see the
stern dedication to himself of the same poet's _Triumph of Infidelity_,
1788.  Much more important than Dwight's poetry was his able _Theology
Explained and Defended_, 1794, a restatement, with modifications, of
the Calvinism of Jonathan {387} Edwards, which was accepted by the
Congregational churches of New England as an authoritative exponent of
the orthodoxy of the time.  His _Travels in New England and New York_,
including descriptions of Niagara, the White Mountains, Lake George,
the Catskills, and other passages of natural scenery, not so familiar
then as now, was published posthumously in 1821, was praised by
Southey, and is still readable.  As President of Yale College from 1795
to 1817, Dwight, by his learning and ability, his sympathy with young
men, and the force and dignity of his character, exerted a great
influence in the community.

The strong political bias of the time drew into its vortex most of the
miscellaneous literature that was produced.  A number of ballads,
serious and comic, Whig and Tory, dealing with the battles and other
incidents of the long war, enjoyed a wide circulation in the
newspapers, or were hawked about in printed broadsides.  Most of these
have no literary merit, and are now mere antiquarian curiosities.  A
favorite piece on the Tory side was the _Cow Chase_, a cleverish parody
on _Chevy Chase_, written by the gallant and unfortunate Major Andre,
at the expense of "Mad" Anthony Wayne.  The national song _Yankee
Doodle_ was evolved during the Revolution, and, as is the case with
_John Brown's Body_ and many other popular melodies, some obscurity
hangs about its origin.  The air was an old one, and the words of the
chorus seem to have been adapted or {388} corrupted from a Dutch song,
and applied in derision to the Provincials by the soldiers of the
British army as early as 1755.  Like many another nickname, the term
Yankee Doodle was taken up by the nicknamed and proudly made their own.
The stanza,

  "Yankee Doodle came to town," etc.,

antedates the war; but the first complete set of words to the tune was
the _Yankee's Return from Camp_, which is apparently of the year 1775.
The most popular humorous ballad on the Whig side was the _Battle of
the Kegs_, founded on a laughable incident of the campaign at
Philadelphia.  This was written by Francis Hopkinson, a Philadelphian,
and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Hopkinson
has some title to rank as one of the earliest American humorists.
Without the keen wit of _McFingal_ some of his _Miscellaneous Essays
and Occasional Writings_, published in 1792, have more geniality and
heartiness than Trumbull's satire.  His _Letter on Whitewashing_ is a
bit of domestic humor that foretokens the _Danbury News_ man, and his
_Modern Learning_, 1784, a burlesque on college examinations, in which
a salt-box is described from the point of view of metaphysics, logic,
natural philosophy, mathematics, anatomy, surgery and chemistry, long
kept its place in school-readers and other collections.  His son,
Joseph Hopkinson, wrote the song of _Hail Columbia_, which is saved
from insignificance only by the music to which it was married, {389}
the then popular air of "The President's March."  The words were
written in 1798, on the eve of a threatened war with France, and at a
time when party spirit ran high.  It was sung nightly by crowds in the
streets, and for a whole season by a favorite singer at the theater;
for by this time there were theaters in Philadelphia, in New York, and
even in Puritanic Boston.  Much better than _Hail Columbia_ was the
_Star Spangled Banner_, the words of which were composed by Francis
Scott Key, a Marylander, during the bombardment by the British of Fort
McHenry, near Baltimore, in 1812.  More pretentious than these was the
once celebrated ode of Robert Treat Paine, Jr., _Adams and Liberty_,
recited at an anniversary of the Massachusetts Charitable Fire Society.
The sale of this is said to have netted its author over $750, but it
is, notwithstanding, a very wooden performance.  Paine was a young
Harvard graduate, who had married an actress playing at the old Federal
Street Theater, the first play-house opened in Boston, in 1794.  His
name was originally Thomas, but this was changed for him by the
Massachusetts Legislature, because he did not wish to be confounded
with the author of the _Age of Reason_.  "Dim are those names erstwhile
in battle loud," and many an old Revolutionary worthy who fought for
liberty with sword and pen is now utterly forgotten, or consigned to
the limbo of Duyckinck's _Cyclopedia_ and Griswold's _Poets of
America_.  Here and there a line has, by accident, survived to do {390}
duty as a motto or inscription, while all its context is buried in
oblivion.  Few have read any thing more of Jonathan M. Sewall's, for
example, than the couplet,

  "No pent-up Utica contracts your powers,
  But the whole boundless continent is yours,"

taken from his _Epilogue to Cato_, written in 1778.

Another Revolutionary poet was Philip Freneau; "that rascal Freneau,"
as Washington called him, when annoyed by the attacks upon his
administration in Freneau's _National Gazette_.  He was of Huguenot
descent, was a classmate of Madison at Princeton College, was taken
prisoner by the British during the war, and when the war was over,
engaged in journalism, as an ardent supporter of Jefferson and the
Democrats.  Freneau's patriotic verses and political lampoons are now
unreadable; but he deserves to rank as the first real American poet, by
virtue of his _Wild Honeysuckle_, _Indian Burying Ground_, _Indian
Student_, and a few other little pieces, which exhibit a grace and
delicacy inherited, perhaps, with his French blood.

Indeed, to speak strictly, all of the "poets" hitherto mentioned were
nothing but rhymers but in Freneau we meet with something of beauty and
artistic feeling; something which still keeps his verses fresh.  In his
treatment of Indian themes, in particular, appear for the first time a
sense of the picturesque and poetic {391} elements in the character and
wild life of the red man, and that pensive sentiment which the fading
away of the tribes toward the sunset has left in the wake of their
retreating footsteps.  In this Freneau anticipates Cooper and
Longfellow, though his work is slight compared with the
_Leatherstocking Tales_ or _Hiawatha_.  At the time when the
Revolutionary War broke out the population of the colonies was over
three millions; Philadelphia had thirty thousand inhabitants, and the
frontier had retired to a comfortable distance from the sea-board.  The
Indian had already grown legendary to town dwellers, and Freneau
fetches his _Indian Student_ not from the outskirts of the settlement,
but from the remote backwoods of the State:

  "From Susquehanna's farthest springs,
    Where savage tribes pursue their game
  (His blanket tied with yellow strings),
    A shepherd of the forest came."

Campbell "lifted"--in his poem _O'Conor's Child_--the last line of the
following stanza from Freneau's _Indian Burying Ground_:

  "By midnight moons, o'er moistening dews,
    In vestments for the chase arrayed,
  The hunter still the deer pursues--
    The hunter and the deer a shade."

And Walter Scott did Freneau the honor to borrow, in _Marmion_, the
final line of one of the {392} stanzas of his poem on the battle of
Eutaw Springs:

  "They saw their injured country's woe,
    The flaming town, the wasted field;
  Then rushed to meet the insulting foe;
    They took the spear, but left the shield."

Scott inquired of an American gentleman who wished him the authorship
of this poem, which he had by heart, and pronounced it as fine a thing
of the kind as there was in the language.

The American drama and American prose fiction had their beginnings
during the period now under review.  A company of English players came
to this country in 1752 and made the tour of many of the principal
towns.  The first play acted here by professionals on a public stage
was the _Merchant of Venice_, which was given by the English company at
Williamsburg, Va., in 1752.  The first regular theater building was at
Annapolis, Md., where in the same year this troupe performed, among
other pieces, Farquhar's _Beaux' Stratagem_.  In 1753 a theater was
built in New York, and one in 1759 in Philadelphia.  The Quakers of
Philadelphia and the Puritans of Boston were strenuously opposed to the
acting of plays, and in the latter city the players were several times
arrested during the performances, under a Massachusetts law forbidding
dramatic performances.  At Newport, R. I., on the other hand, which was
a health resort for planters from the Southern States and the West
Indies.  {393} and the largest slave-market in the North, the actors
were hospitably received.  The first play known to have been written by
an American was the _Prince of Parthia_, 1765, a closet drama, by
Thomas Godfrey, of Philadelphia.  The first play by an American writer,
acted by professionals in a public theater, was Royal Tyler's
_Contrast_, performed in New York in 1786.  The former of these was
very high tragedy, and the latter very low comedy; and neither of them
is otherwise remarkable than as being the first of a long line of
indifferent dramas.  There is, in fact, no American dramatic literature
worth speaking of; not a single American play of even the second rank,
unless we except a few graceful parlor comedies, like Mr. Howell's
_Elevator_ and _Sleeping-Car_.  Royal Tyler, the author of the
_Contrast_, cut quite a figure in his day as a wit and journalist, and
eventually became Chief Justice of Vermont.  His comedy, the _Georgia
Spec_, 1797, had a great run in Boston, and his _Algerine Captive_,
published in the same year, was one of the earliest American novels.
It was a rambling tale of adventure, constructed somewhat upon the plan
of Smollett's novels and dealing with the piracies which led to the war
between the United States and Algiers in 1815.

Charles Brockden Brown, the first American novelist of any note, was
also the first professional man of letters in this country who
supported himself entirely by his pen.  He was born in {394}
Philadelphia in 1771, lived a part of his life in New York and part in
his native city, where he started, in 1803, the _Literary Magazine and
American Register_.  During the years 1798-1801 he published in rapid
succession six romances, _Wieland_, _Ormond_, _Arthur Mervyn_, _Edgar
Huntley_, _Clara Howard_, and _Jane Talbot_.  Brown was an invalid and
something of a recluse, with a relish for the ghastly in incident and
the morbid in character.  He was in some points a prophecy of Poe and
Hawthorne, though his art was greatly inferior to Poe's, and almost
infinitely so to Hawthorne's.  His books belong more properly to the
contemporary school of fiction in England which preceded the "Waverley
Novels"--to the class that includes Beckford's _Vathek_, Godwin's
_Caleb Williams_ and _St. Leon_, Mrs. Shelley's _Frankenstein_, and
such "Gothic" romances as Lewis's _Monk_, Walpole's _Castle of
Otranto_, and Mrs. Radcliffe's _Mysteries of Udolpho_.  A
distinguishing characteristic of this whole school is what we may call
the clumsy-horrible.  Brown's romances are not wanting in inventive
power, in occasional situations that are intensely thrilling, and in
subtle analysis of character; but they are fatally defective in art.
The narrative is by turns abrupt and tiresomely prolix, proceeding not
so much by dialogue as by elaborate dissection and discussion of
motives and states of mind, interspersed with the author's reflections.
The wild improbabilities of plot and the unnatural and even monstrous
developments of character {395} are in startling contrast with the
old-fashioned preciseness of the language; the conversations, when
there are any, being conducted in that insipid dialect in which a fine
woman was called an "elegant female."  The following is a sample
description of one of Brown's heroines, and is taken from his novel of
_Ormond_, the leading character in which--a combination of unearthly
intellect with fiendish wickedness--is thought to have been suggested
by Aaron Burr: "Helena Cleves was endowed with every feminine and
fascinating quality.  Her features were modified by the most transient
sentiments and were the seat of a softness at all times blushful and
bewitching.  All those graces of symmetry, smoothness and lustre, which
assemble in the imagination of the painter when he calls from the bosom
of her natal deep the Paphian divinity, blended their perfections in
the shade, complexion, and hair of this lady."  But, alas! "Helena's
intellectual deficiencies could not be concealed.  She was proficient
in the elements of no science.  The doctrine of lines and surfaces was
as disproportionate with her intellects as with those of the mock-bird.
She had not reasoned on the principles of human action, nor examined
the structure of society.~.~.~.  She could not commune in their native
dialect with the sages of Rome and Athens.~.~.~.  The constitution of
nature, the attributes of its Author, the arrangement of the parts of
the external universe, and the substance, modes of operation, and
ultimate destiny of human {396} intelligence were enigmas unsolved and
insoluble by her."

Brown frequently raises a superstructure of mystery on a basis
ludicrously weak.  Thus the hero of his first novel, _Wieland_ (whose
father anticipates "Old Krook," in Dickens's _Bleak House_, by dying of
spontaneous combustion), is led on by what he mistakes for spiritual
voices to kill his wife and children; and the voices turn out to be
produced by the ventriloquism of one Carwin, the villain of the story.
Similarly in _Edgar Huntley_, the plot turns upon the phenomena of
sleep-walking.  Brown had the good sense to place the scene of his
romances in his own country, and the only passages in them which have
now a living interest are his descriptions of wilderness scenery in
_Edgar Huntley_, and his graphic account in _Arthur Mervyn_ of the
yellow-fever epidemic in Philadelphia in 1793.  Shelley was an admirer
of Brown, and his experiments in prose fiction, such as _Zastrozzi_ and
_St. Irvyne the Rosicrucian_, are of the same abnormal and speculative

Another book which falls within this period was the _Journal_, 1774, of
John Woolman, a New Jersey Quaker, which has received the highest
praise from Channing, Charles Lamb, and many others.  "Get the writings
of John Woolman by heart," wrote Lamb, "and love the early Quakers."
The charm of this journal resides in its singular sweetness and
innocence cf feeling, the "deep inward stillness" peculiar to the
people called Quakers.  {397} Apart from his constant use of certain
phrases peculiar to the Friends, Woolman's English is also remarkably
graceful and pure, the transparent medium of a soul absolutely sincere,
and tender and humble in its sincerity.  When not working at his trade
as a tailor, Woolman spent his time in visiting and ministering to the
monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings of Friends, traveling on
horseback to their scattered communities in the backwoods of Virginia
and North Carolina, and northward along the coast as far as Boston and
Nantucket.  He was under a "concern" and a "heavy exercise" touching
the keeping of slaves, and by his writing and speaking did much to
influence the Quakers against slavery.  His love went out, indeed, to
all the wretched and oppressed; to sailors, and to the Indians in
particular.  One of his most perilous journeys was made to the
settlements of Moravian Indians in the wilderness of Western
Pennsylvania, at Bethlehem, and at Wehaloosing, on the Susquehanna.
Some of the scruples which Woolman felt, and the quaint _naivete_ with
which he expresses them, may make the modern reader smile--but it is a
smile which is very close to a tear.  Thus, when in England--where he
died in 1772--he would not ride nor send a letter by mail-coach,
because the poor post-boys were compelled to ride long stages in winter
nights, and were sometimes frozen to death.  "So great is the hurry in
the spirit of this world, that in aiming to do business quickly and to
gain wealth, {398} the creation at this day doth loudly groan."  Again,
having reflected that war was caused by luxury in dress, etc., the use
of dyed garments grew uneasy to him, and he got and wore a hat of the
natural color of the fur.  "In attending meetings, this singularity was
a trial to me~.~.~. and some Friends, who knew not from what motives I
wore it, grew shy of me.~.~.~.  Those who spoke with me I generally
informed, in a few words, that I believed my wearing it was not in my
own will."

1. Representative American Orations.  Edited by Alexander Johnston.
New York; G. P. Putnam's Sons.  1884.

2. The Federalist.  New York: Charles Scribner.  1863.

3. Notes on Virginia.  By Thomas Jefferson.  Boston.  1829.

4. Travels in New England and New York.  By Timothy Dwight.  New Haven.

5. McFingal: in Trumbull's Poetical Works.  Hartford: 1820.

6. Joel Barlow's _Hasty Pudding_.  Francis Hopkinson's _Modern
Learning_.  Philip Freneau's _Indian Student_, _Indian Burying Ground_,
and _White Honeysuckle_: in Vol. I. of Duyckinck's Cyclopedia of
American Literature.  New York: Charles Scribner.  1866.

7. Arthur Mervyn.  By Charles Brockden Brown.  Boston: S. G. Goodrich.

8. The Journal of John Woolman.  With an {399} Introduction by John G.
Whittier.  Boston: James R. Osgood & Co.  1871.

9. American Literature.  By Charles F. Richardson.  New York: G. P.
Putnam's Sons.  1887.

10. American Literature.  By John Nichol.  Edinburgh: Adam & Charles
Black.  1882.





The attempt to preserve a strictly chronological order must here be
abandoned.  About all the American literature in existence, that is of
any value _as literature_, is the product of the past three quarters of
a century, and the men who produced it, though older or younger, were
still contemporaries.  Irving's _Knickerbocker's History of New York_,
1809, was published within the recollection of some yet living, and the
venerable poet, Richard H. Dana--Irving's junior by only four
years--survived to 1879, when the youngest of the generation of writers
that now occupy public attention had already won their spurs.  Bryant,
whose _Thanatopsis_ was printed in 1816, lived down to 1878.  He saw
the beginnings of our national literature, and he saw almost as much of
the latest phase of it as we see to-day in this year 1887.  Still, even
within the limits of a single life-time, there have been progress and
change.  And so, while it will happen that the consideration of writers
a part of whose work falls between the dates at the head of this
chapter may be postponed {401} to subsequent chapters, we may in a
general way follow the sequence of time.

The period between the close of the second war with England, in 1815,
and the great financial crash of 1837, has been called, in language
attributed to President Monroe, "the era of good feeling."  It was a
time of peace and prosperity, of rapid growth in population and rapid
extension of territory.  The new nation was entering upon its vast
estates and beginning to realize its manifest destiny.  The peace with
Great Britain, by calling off the Canadian Indians and the other tribes
in alliance with England, had opened up the North-west to settlement.
Ohio had been admitted as a State in 1802; but at the time of President
Monroe's tour, in 1817, Cincinnati had only seven thousand inhabitants,
and half of the State was unsettled.  The Ohio River flowed for most of
its course through an unbroken wilderness.  Chicago was merely a fort.
Hitherto the emigration to the West had been sporadic; now it took on
the dimensions of a general and almost a concerted exodus.  This
movement was stimulated in New England by the cold summer of 1816 and
the late spring of 1817, which produced a scarcity of food that
amounted in parts of the interior to a veritable famine.  All through
this period sounded the axe of the pioneer clearing the forest about
his log cabin, and the rumble of the canvas-covered emigrant wagon over
the primitive highways which crossed the Alleghanies {402} or followed
the valley of the Mohawk.  S. G. Goodrich, known in letters as "Peter
Parley," in his _Recollections of a Lifetime_, 1856, describes the part
of the movement which he had witnessed as a boy in Fairfield County,
Conn.: "I remember very well the tide of emigration through
Connecticut, on its way to the West, during the summer of 1817.  Some
persons went in covered wagons--frequently a family consisting of
father, mother, and nine small children, with one at the breast--some
on foot, and some crowded together under the cover, with kettles,
gridirons, feather beds, crockery, and the family Bible, Watts's Psalms
and Hymns, and Webster's Spelling-book--the lares and penates of the
household.  Others started in ox-carts, and trudged on at the rate of
ten miles a day. . . .  Many of these persons were in a state of
poverty, and begged their way as they went.  Some died before they
reached the expected Canaan; many perished after their arrival from
fatigue and privation; and others from the fever and ague, which was
then certain to attack the new settlers.  It was, I think, in 1818 that
I published a small tract entitled _'Tother Side of Oldo_--that is, the
other view, in contrast to the popular notion that it was the paradise
of the world.  It was written by Dr. Hand--a talented young physician
of Berlin--who had made a visit to the West about these days.  It
consisted mainly of vivid but painful pictures of the accidents and
incidents attending this wholesale migration.  The roads over the
Alleghanies, {403} between Philadelphia and Pittsburg, were then rude,
steep, and dangerous, and some of the more precipitous slopes were
consequently strewn with the carcases of wagons, carts, horses, oxen,
which had made shipwreck in their perilous descents."

But in spite of the hardships of the settler's life, the spirit of that
time, as reflected in its writings, was a hopeful and a light-hearted

  "Westward the course of empire takes its way,"

runs the famous line from Berkeley's poem on America.  The New
Englanders who removed to the Western Reserve went there to better
themelves; and their children found themselves the owners of broad
acres of virgin soil, in place of the stony hill pastures of Berkshire
and Litchfield.  There was an attraction, too, about the wild, free
life of the frontiersman, with all its perils and discomforts.  The
life of Daniel Boone, the pioneer of Kentucky--that "dark and bloody
ground"--is a genuine romance.  Hardly less picturesque was the old
river life of the Ohio boatmen, before the coming of steam banished
their queer craft from the water.  Between 1810 and 1840 the center of
population in the United States had moved from the Potomac to the
neighborhood of Clarksburg, in West Virginia, and the population itself
had increased from seven to seventeen millions.  The gain was made
partly in the East and South, but the general drift was westward.
During the years now under review, {404} the following new States were
admitted, in the order named: Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois, Alabama,
Maine, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan.  Kentucky and Tennessee had been
made States in the last years of the eighteenth century, and
Louisiana--acquired by purchase from France--in 1812.

The settlers, in their westward march, left large tracts of wilderness
behind them.  They took up first the rich bottom lands along the river
courses, the Ohio and Miami and Licking, and later the valleys of the
Mississippi and Missouri, and the shores of the great lakes.  But there
still remained back woods in New York and Pennsylvania, though the
cities of New York and Philadelphia had each a population of more than
one hundred thousand in 1815.  When the Erie Canal was opened, in 1825,
it ran through a primitive forest.  N. P. Willis, who went by canal to
Buffalo and Niagara in 1827, describes the houses and stores at
Rochester as standing among the burnt stumps left by the first
settlers.  In the same year that saw the opening of this great water
way, the Indian tribes, numbering now about one hundred and thirty
thousand souls, were moved across the Mississippi.  Their power had
been broken by General Harrison's victory over Tecumseh at the battle
of Tippecanoe, in 1811, and they were in fact mere remnants and
fragments of the race which had hung upon the skirts of civilization,
and disputed the advance of the white man for two centuries.  It was
not until some years later than this that railroads began {405} to take
an important share in opening up new country.

The restless energy, the love of adventure, the sanguine anticipation
which characterized American thought at this time, the picturesque
contrasts to be seen in each mushroom town where civilization was
encroaching on the raw edge of the wilderness--all these found
expression, not only in such well-known books as Copper's _Pioneers_,
1823, and Irving's _Tour on the Prairies_, 1835, but in the minor
literature which is read to-day, if at all, not for its own sake, but
for the light that it throws on the history of national development: in
such books as Paulding's story of _Westward Ho!_ and his poem, _The
Backwoodsman_, 1818; or as Timothy Flint's _Recollections_, 1826, and
his _Geography and History of the Mississippi Valley_, 1827.  It was
not an age of great books, but it was an age of large ideas and
expanding prospects.  The new consciousness of empire uttered itself
hastily, crudely, ran into buncombe, "spread-eagleism," and other noisy
forms of patriotic exultation; but it was thoroughly democratic and
American.  Though literature--or at least the best literature of the
time--was not yet emancipated from English models, thought and life, at
any rate, were no longer in bondage--no longer provincial.  And it is
significant that the party in office during these years was the
Democratic, the party which had broken most completely with
conservative traditions.  The famous "Monroe doctrine" was {406} a
pronunciamento of this aggressive democracy, and though the Federalists
returned to power for a single term, under John Quincy Adams
(1825-1829,) Andrew Jackson received the largest number of electoral
votes, and Adams was only chosen by the House of Representatives in the
absence of a majority vote for any one candidate.  At the close of his
term "Old Hickory," the hero of the people, the most characteristically
democratic of our Presidents, and the first backwoodsman who entered
the White House, was borne into office on a wave of popular enthusiasm.
We have now arrived at the time when American literature, in the higher
and stricter sense of the term, really began to have an existence.  S.
G. Goodrich, who settled at Hartford as a bookseller and publisher in
1818, says, in his _Recollections_: "About this time I began to think
of trying to bring out original American works. . . .  The general
impression was that we had not, and could not have, a literature.  It
was the precise point at which Sidney Smith had uttered that bitter
taunt in the _Edinburgh Review_, 'Who reads an American book?' . . .
It was positively injurious to the commercial credit of a bookseller to
undertake American works."  Washington Irving (1783-1859) was the first
American author whose books, as _books_, obtained recognition abroad;
whose name was thought worthy of mention beside the names of English
contemporary authors, like Byron, Scott, and Coleridge.  He was also
the first American writer whose writings are still read {407} for their
own sake.  We read Mather's _Magnalia_, and Franklin's _Autobiography_,
and Trumbull's _McFingal_--if we read them at all--as history, and to
learn about the times or the men.  But we read the _Sketch Book_, and
_Knickerbocker's History of New York_, and the _Conquest of Granada_
for themselves, and for the pleasure that they give as pieces of
literary art.

We have arrived, too, at a time when we may apply a more cosmopolitan
standard to the works of American writers, and may disregard many a
minor author whose productions would have cut some figure had they come
to light amid the poverty of our colonial age.  Hundreds of these
forgotten names, with specimens of their unread writings, are consigned
to a limbo of immortality in the pages of Duyckinck's _Cyclopedia_, and
of Griswold's _Poets of America_ and _Prose Writers of America_.  We
may select here for special mention, and as most representative of the
thought of their time, the names of Irving, Cooper, Webster, and

A generation was now coming upon the stage who could recall no other
government in this country than the government of the United States,
and to whom the Revolutionary War was but a tradition.  Born in the
very year of the peace, it was a part of Irving's mission, by the
sympathetic charm of his writings and by the cordial recognition which
he won in both countries, to allay the soreness which the second war,
of 1812-15, had left between England and America.  He was {408} well
fitted for the task of mediator.  Conservative by nature, early drawn
to the venerable worship of the Episcopal Church, retrospective in his
tastes, with a preference for the past and its historic associations
which, even in young America, led him to invest the Hudson and the
region about New York with a legendary interest, he wrote of American
themes in an English fashion, and interpreted to an American public the
mellow attractiveness that he found in the life and scenery of Old
England.  He lived in both countries, and loved them both; and it is
hard to say whether Irving is more of an English or of an American
writer.  His first visit to Europe, in 1804-6, occupied nearly two
years.  From 1815 to 1832 he was abroad continuously, and his
"domicile," as the lawyers say, during these seventeen years was really
in England, though a portion of his time was spent upon the continent,
and several successive years in Spain, where he engaged upon the _Life
of Columbus_, the _Conquest of Granada_, the _Companions of Columbus_,
and the _Alhambra_, all published between 1828-32.  From 1842 to 1846
he was again in Spain as American Minister at Madrid.

Irving was the last and greatest of the Addisonians.  His boyish
letters, signed "Jonathan Oldstyle," contributed in 1802 to his
brother's newspaper, the _Morning Chronicle_, were, like Franklin's
_Busybody_, close imitations of the _Spectator_.  To the same family
belonged his _Salmagundi_ papers, 1807, a series of town-satires on New
York society, written {409} in conjunction with his brother William and
with James K. Paulding.  The little tales, essays, and sketches which
compose the _Sketch Book_ were written in England, and published in
America, in periodical numbers, in 1819-20.  In this, which is in some
respects his best book, he still maintained that attitude of
observation and spectatorship taught him by Addison.  The volume had a
motto taken from Burton, "I have no wife nor children, good or bad, to
provide for--a mere spectator of other men's fortunes," etc.; and "The
Author's Account of Himself" began in true Addisonian fashion: "I was
always fond of visiting new scenes and observing strange characters and

But though never violently "American," like some later writers who have
consciously sought to throw off the trammels of English tradition,
Irving was in a real way original.  His most distinct addition to our
national literature was in his creation of what has been called "the
Knickerbocker legend."  He was the first to make use, for literary
purposes, of the old Dutch traditions which clustered about the
romantic scenery of the Hudson.  Col. T. W. Higginson, in his _History
of the United States_, tells how "Mrs. Josiah Quincy, sailing up that
river in 1786, when Irving was a child three years old, records that
the captain of the sloop had a legend, either supernatural or
traditional, for every scene, and not a mountain reared its head
unconnected with some marvelous {410} story.'"  The material thus at
hand Irving shaped into his _Knickerbocker's History of New York_, into
the immortal story of _Rip Van Winkle_, and the _Legend of Sleepy
Hollow_ (both published in the _Sketch Book_), and in later additions
to the same realm of fiction, such as Dolph Heyliger in _Bracebridge
Hall_, the _Money Diggers_, _Wolfert Webber_, and _Kidd the Pirate_, in
the _Tales of a Traveler_, and in some of the miscellanies from the
_Knickerbocker Magazine_, collected into a volume, in 1855, under the
title of _Wolfert's Roost_.

The book which made Irving's reputation was his _Knickerbocker's
History of New York_, 1809, a burlesque chronicle, making fun of the
old Dutch settlers of New Amsterdam, and attributed, by a familiar and
now somewhat threadbare device,[1] to a little old gentleman named
Diedrich Knickerbocker, whose manuscript had come into the editor's
hands.  The book was gravely dedicated to the New York Historical
Society, and it is said to have been quoted, as authentic history, by a
certain German scholar named Goeller, in a note on a passage in
Thucydides.  This story, though well vouched, is hard of belief: for
_Knickerbocker_, though excellent fooling, has nothing of the grave
irony of Swift in his _Modest Proposal_ or of Defoe in his _Short Way
with Dissenters_.  Its mock-heroic intention is as transparent as in
Fielding's parodies of Homer, which it somewhat resembles, {411}
particularly in the delightfully absurd description of the mustering of
the clans under Peter Stuyvesant and the attack on the Swedish Fort
Christina.  _Knickerbocker's History of New York_ was a real addition
to the comic literature of the world; a work of genuine humor, original
and vital.  Walter Scott said that it reminded him closely of Swift,
and had touches resembling Sterne.  It is not necessary to claim for
Irving's little masterpiece a place beside _Gulliver's Travels_ and
_Tristram Shandy_.  But it was, at least, the first American book in
the lighter departments of literature which needed no apology and stood
squarely on its own legs.  It was written, too, at just the right time.
Although New Amsterdam had become New York as early as 1664, the
impress of its first settlers, with their quaint conservative ways, was
still upon it when Irving was a boy.  The descendants of the Dutch
families formed a definite element not only in Manhattan, but all up
along the kills of the Hudson, at Albany, at Schenectady, in
Westchester County, at Hoboken, and Communipaw, localities made
familiar to him in many a ramble and excursion.  He lived to see the
little provincial town of his birth grow into a great metropolis, in
which all national characteristics were blended together, and a tide of
immigration from Europe and New England flowed over the old landmarks
and obliterated them utterly.

Although Irving was the first to reveal to his countrymen the literary
possibilities of their early {412} history, it must be acknowledged
that with modern American life he had little sympathy.  He hated
politics, and in the restless democratic movement of the time, as we
have described it, he found no inspiration.  This moderate and placid
gentleman, with his distrust of all kinds of fanaticism, had no liking
for the Puritans or for their descendants, the New England Yankees, if
we may judge from his sketch of Ichabod Crane, in the _Legend of Sleepy
Hollow_.  His genius was reminiscent, and his imagination, like
Scott's, was the historic imagination.  In crude America his fancy took
refuge in the picturesque aspects of the past, in "survivals" like the
Knickerbocker Dutch and the Acadian peasants, whose isolated
communities on the lower Mississippi he visited and described.  He
turned naturally to the ripe civilization of the Old World.  He was our
first picturesque tourist, the first "American in Europe."  He
rediscovered England, whose ancient churches, quiet landscapes,
memory-haunted cities, Christmas celebrations, and rural festivals had
for him an unfailing attraction.  With pictures of these, for the most
part, he filled the pages of the _Sketch Book_ and _Bracebridge Hall_,
1822.  Delightful as are these English sketches, in which the author
conducts his readers to Windsor Castle, or Stratford-on-Avon, or the
Boar's Head Tavern, or sits beside him on the box of the old English
stage-coach, or shares with him the Yuletide cheer at the ancient
English country house, their interest has somewhat faded.  {413} The
pathos of the _Broken Heart_ and the _Pride of the Village_, the mild
satire of the _Art of Book Making_, the rather obvious reflections in
_Westminster Abbey_ are not exactly to the taste of this generation.
They are the literature of leisure and retrospection; and already
Irving's gentle elaboration, the refined and slightly artificial beauty
of his style, and his persistently genial and sympathetic attitude have
begun to pall upon readers who demand a more nervous and accented kind
of writing.  It is felt that a little roughness, a little harshness,
even, would give relief to his pictures of life.  There is, for
instance, something a little irritating in the old-fashioned
courtliness of his manner toward women; and one reads with a certain
impatience smoothly punctuated passages like the following: "As the
vine, which has long twined its graceful foliage about the oak, and
been lifted by it into sunshine, will, when the hardy plant is rifted
by the thunderbolt, cling round it with its caressing tendrils, and
bind up its shattered boughs, so is it beautifully ordered by
Providence that woman, who is the mere dependent and ornament of man in
his happier hours, should be his stay and solace when smitten with
sudden calamity; winding herself into the rugged recesses of his
nature, tenderly supporting the drooping head, and binding up the
broken heart."

Irving's gifts were sentiment and humor, with an imagination
sufficiently fertile, and an observation sufficiently acute to support
those two main {414} qualities, but inadequate to the service of strong
passion or subtle thinking, though his pathos, indeed, sometimes
reached intensity.  His humor was always delicate and kindly; his
sentiment never degenerated into sentimentality.  His diction was
graceful and elegant--too elegant, perhaps; and in his modesty he
attributed the success of his books in England to the astonishment of
Englishmen that an American could write good English.

In Spanish history and legend Irving found a still newer and richer
field for his fancy to work upon.  He had not the analytic and
philosophical mind of a great historian, and the merits of his
_Conquest of Granada_ and _Life of Columbus_ are rather
_belletristisch_ than scientific.  But he brought to these undertakings
the same eager love of the romantic past which had determined the
character of his writings in America and England, and the
result--whether we call it history or romance--is at all events
charming as literature.  His _Life of Washington_--completed in
1859--was his _magnum opus_, and is accepted as standard authority.
_Mahomet and His Successors_, 1850, was comparatively a failure.  But
of all Irving's biographies, his _Life of Oliver Goldsmith_, 1849, was
the most spontaneous and perhaps the best.  He did not impose it upon
himself as a task, but wrote it from a native and loving sympathy with
his subject, and it is, therefore, one of the choicest literary memoirs
in the language.


When Irving returned to America, in 1832, he was the recipient of
almost national honors.  He had received the medal of the Royal Society
of Literature and the degree of D.C.L. from Oxford University, and had
made American literature known and respected abroad.  In his modest
home at Sunnyside, on the banks of the river over which he had been the
first to throw the witchery of poetry and romance, he was attended to
the last by the admiring affection of his countrymen.  He had the love
and praises of the foremost English writers of his own generation and
the generation which followed--of Scott, Byron, Coleridge, Thackeray,
and Dickens, some of whom had been among his personal friends.  He is
not the greatest of American authors, but the influence of his writings
is sweet and wholesome, and it is in many ways fortunate that the first
American man of letters who made himself heard in Europe should have
been in all particulars a gentleman.

Connected with Irving, at least by name and locality, were a number of
authors who resided in the city of New York and who are known as the
Knickerbocker writers, perhaps because they were contributors to the
_Knickerbocker Magazine_.  One of these was James K. Paulding, a
connection of Irving by marriage, and his partner in the _Salmagundi
Papers_.  Paulding became Secretary of the Navy under Van Buren, and
lived down to the year 1860.  He was a {416} voluminous author, but his
writings had no power of continuance, and are already obsolete, with
the possible exception of his novel, the _Dutchman's Fireside_, 1831.

A finer spirit than Paulding was Joseph Rodman Drake, a young poet of
great promise, who died in 1820, at the age of twenty-five.  Drake's
patriotic lyric, the _American Flag_, is certainly the most spirited
thing of the kind in our poetic literature, and greatly superior to
such national anthems as _Hail Columbia_ and the _Star Spangled
Banner_.  His _Culprit Fay_, published in 1819, was the best poem that
had yet appeared in America, if we except Bryant's _Thanatopsis_, which
was three years the elder.  The _Culprit Fay_ was a fairy story, in
which, following Irving's lead, Drake undertook to throw the glamour of
poetry about the Highlands of the Hudson.  Edgar Poe said that the poem
was fanciful rather than imaginative; but it is prettily and even
brilliantly fanciful, and has maintained its popularity to the present
time.  Such verse as the following--which seems to show that Drake had
been reading Coleridge's _Christabel_, published three years
before--was something new in American poetry:

  "The winds are whist and the owl is still,
    The bat in the shelvy rock is hid,
  And naught is heard on the lonely hill,
  But the cricket's chirp and the answer shrill,
    Of the gauze-winged katydid,
  And the plaint of the wailing whip-poor-will
    Who moans unseen, and ceaseless sings
  Ever a note of wail and woe,
    Till morning spreads her rosy wings,
  And earth and sky in her glances glow."

Here we have, at last, the whip-poor-will, an American bird, and not
the conventional lark or nightingale, although the elves of the Old
World seem scarcely at home on the banks of the Hudson.  Drake's memory
has been kept fresh not only by his own poetry, but by the beautiful
elegy written by his friend Fitz-Greene Halleck, the first stanza of
which is universally known:

  "Green be the turf above thee,
    Friend of my better days;
  None knew thee but to love thee,
    Nor named thee but to praise."

Halleck was born in Guilford, Connecticut, whither he retired in 1849,
and resided there till his death in 1867.  But his literary career is
identified with New York.  He was associated with Drake in writing the
_Croaker Papers_, a series of humorous and satirical verses contributed
in 1814 to the _Evening Post_.  These were of a merely local and
temporary interest; but Halleck's fine ode, _Marco Bozzaris_--though
declaimed until it has become hackneyed--gives him a sure title to a
remembrance; and his _Alnwick Castle_, a monody, half serious and half
playful on the contrasts between feudal associations and modern life,
has {418} much of that pensive lightness which characterizes Praed's
best _vers de societe_.

A friend of Drake and Halleck was James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851),
the first American novelist of distinction, and, if a popularity which
has endured for nearly three quarters of a century is any test, still
the most successful of all American novelists.  Cooper was far more
intensely American than Irving, and his books reached an even wider
public.  "They are published as soon as he produces them," said Morse,
the electrician, in 1833, "in thirty-four different places in Europe.
They have been seen by American travelers in the languages of Turkey
and Persia, in Constantinople, in Egypt, at Jerusalem, at Ispahan."
Cooper wrote altogether too much; he published, besides his fictions, a
_Naval History of the United States_, a series of naval biographies,
works of travel, and a great deal of controversial matter.  He wrote
over thirty novels, the greater part of which are little better than
trash, and tedious trash at that.  This is especially true of his
_tendenz_ novels and his novels of society.  He was a man of strongly
marked individuality, fiery, pugnacious, sensitive to criticism, and
abounding in prejudices.  He was embittered by the scurrilous attacks
made upon him by a portion of the American press, and spent a great
deal of time and energy in conducting libel suits against the
newspapers.  In the same spirit he used fiction as a vehicle for attack
upon the abuses and follies of American life.  Nearly all of {419} his
novels, written with this design, are worthless.  Nor was Cooper well
equipped by nature and temperament for depicting character and passion
in social life.  Even in his best romances his heroines and his
"leading juveniles"--to borrow a term from the amateur stage--are
insipid and conventional.  He was no satirist, and his humor was not of
a high order.  He was a rapid and uneven writer, and, unlike Irving, he
had no style.

Where Cooper was great was in the story, in the invention of incidents
and plots, in a power of narrative and description in tales of wild
adventure which keeps the reader in breathless excitement to the end of
the book.  He originated the novel of the sea and the novel of the
wilderness.  He created the Indian of literature; and in this, his
peculiar field, although he has had countless imitators, he has had no
equals.  Cooper's experiences had prepared him well for the kingship of
this new realm in the world of fiction.  His childhood was passed on
the borders of Otsego Lake, when central New York was still a
wilderness, with boundless forests stretching westward, broken only
here and there by the clearings of the pioneers.  He was taken from
college (Yale) when still a lad, and sent to sea in a merchant vessel,
before the mast.  Afterward he entered the navy and did duty on the
high seas and upon Lake Ontario, then surrounded by virgin forests.  He
married and resigned his commission in 1811, just before the outbreak
of the war with England, so {420} that he missed the opportunity of
seeing active service in any of those engagements on the ocean and our
great lakes which were so glorious to American arms.  But he always
retained an active interest in naval affairs.

His first successful novel was _The Spy_, 1821, a tale of the
Revolutionary War, the scene of which was laid in Westchester County,
N. Y., where the author was then residing.  The hero of this story,
Harvey Birch, was one of the most skillfully drawn figures on his
canvas.  In 1823 he published the _Pioneers_, a work somewhat overladen
with description, in which he drew for material upon his boyish
recollections of frontier life at Cooperstown.  This was the first of
the series of five romances known as the _Leatherstocking Tales_.  The
others were the _Last of the Mohicans_, 1826; the _Prairie_, 1827; the
_Pathfinder_, 1840; and the _Deerslayer_, 1841.  The hero of this
series, Natty Bumpo, or "Leatherstocking," was Cooper's one great
creation in the sphere of character, his most original addition to the
literature of the world in the way of a new human type.  This backwoods
philosopher--to the conception of whom the historic exploits of Daniel
Boone perhaps supplied some hints; unschooled, but moved by noble
impulses and a natural sense of piety and justice; passionately
attached to the wilderness, and following its westering edge even unto
the prairies--this man of the woods was the first real American in
fiction.  Hardly less individual and vital {421} were the various types
of Indian character, in Chingachgook, Uncas, Hist, and the Huron
warriors.  Inferior to these, but still vigorously though somewhat
roughly drawn, were the waifs and strays of civilization, whom duty, or
the hope of gain, or the love of adventure, or the outlawry of crime
had driven to the wilderness--the solitary trapper, the reckless young
frontiersman, the officers and men of out-post garrisons.  Whether
Cooper's Indian was the real being, or an idealized and rather
melo-dramatic version of the truth, has been a subject of dispute.
However this be, he has taken his place in the domain of art, and it is
safe to say that his standing there is secure.  No boy will ever give
him up.

Equally good with the _Leatherstocking_ novels, and especially
national, were Cooper's tales of the sea, or at least the two best of
them--the _Pilot_, 1823, founded upon the daring exploits of John Paul
Jones, and the _Red Rover_, 1828.  But here, though Cooper still holds
the sea, he has had to admit competitors; and Britannia, who rules the
waves in song, has put in some claim to a share in the domain of
nautical fiction in the persons of Mr. W. Clarke Russell and others.
Though Cooper's novels do not meet the deeper needs of the heart and
the imagination, their appeal to the universal love of a story is
perennial.  We devour them when we are boys, and if we do not often
return to them when we are men, that is perhaps only because we have
read them before, and "know the {422} ending."  They are good yarns for
the forecastle and the camp-fire; and the scholar in his study, though
he may put the _Deerslayer_ or the _Last of the Mohicans_ away on the
top-shelf, will take it down now and again, and sit up half the night
over it.

Before dismissing the _belles-lettres_ writings of this period, mention
should be made of a few poems of the fugitive kind which seem to have
taken a permanent place in popular regard.  John Howard Payne, a native
of Long Island, a wandering actor and playwright, who died American
Consul at Tunis in 1852, wrote about 1820 for Covent Garden Theater an
opera, entitled _Clari_, the libretto of which included the now famous
song of _Home, Sweet Home_.  Its literary pretensions were of the
humblest kind, but it spoke a true word which touched the Anglo-Saxon
heart in its tenderest spot, and being happily married to a plaintive
air was sold by the hundred thousand, and is evidently destined to be
sung forever.  A like success has attended the _Old Oaken Bucket_,
composed by Samuel Woodworth, a printer and journalist from
Massachusetts, whose other poems, of which two collections were issued
in 1818 and 1826, were soon forgotten.  Richard Henry Wilde, an
Irishman by birth, a gentleman of scholarly tastes and accomplishments,
who wrote a great deal on Italian literature, and sat for several terms
in Congress as Representative of the State of Georgia, was the author
of the favorite song, _My Life is Like the Summer Rose_.  Another {423}
Southerner, and a member of a distinguished Southern family, was Edward
Coate Pinkney, who served nine years in the navy, and died in 1828, at
the age of twenty-six, having published in 1825 a small volume of
lyrical poems which had a fire and a grace uncommon at that time in
American verse.  One of these, _A Health_, beginning

  "I fill this cup to one made up of loveliness alone,"

though perhaps somewhat overpraised by Edgar Poe, has rare beauty of
thought and expression.  John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the
United States (1825-29), was a man of culture and of literary tastes.
He published his lectures on rhetoric delivered during his tenure of
the Boylston Professorship at Harvard in 1806-09; he left a voluminous
diary, which has been edited since his death in 1848; and among his
experiments in poetry is one of considerable merit, entitled the _Wants
of Man_, an ironical sermon on Goldsmith's text:

  "Man wants but little here below
  Nor wants that little long."

As this poem is a curiously close anticipation of Dr. Holmes's
_Contentment_, so the very popular ballad, _Old Grimes_, written about
1818, by Albert Gorton Greene, an undergraduate of Brown University in
Rhode Island, is in some respects an anticipation of Holmes's quaintly
pathetic _Last Leaf_.

The political literature and public oratory of {424} the United States
during this period, although not absolutely of less importance than
that which preceded and followed the Declaration of Independence and
the adoption of the Constitution, demands less relative attention in a
history of literature by reason of the growth of other departments of
thought.  The age was a political one, but no longer exclusively
political.  The debates of the time centered about the question of
"State Rights," and the main forum of discussion was the old Senate
chamber, then made illustrious by the presence of Clay, Webster, and
Calhoun.  The slavery question, which had threatened trouble, was put
off for awhile by the Missouri Compromise of 1820, only to break out
more fiercely in the debates on the Wilmot Proviso, and the Kansas and
Nebraska Bill.  Meanwhile the Abolition movement had been transferred
to the press and the platform.  Garrison started his _Liberator_ in
1830, and the Antislavery Society was founded in 1833.  The Whig party,
which had inherited the constitutional principles of the old Federal
party, advocated internal improvements at national expense and a high
protective tariff.  The State Rights party, which was strongest at the
South, opposed these views, and in 1832 South Carolina claimed the
right to "nullify" the tariff imposed by the general government.  The
leader of this party was John Caldwell Calhoun, a South Carolinian, who
in his speech in the United States Senate, on February 13, 1832, on
Nullification and the {425} Force Bill, set forth most authoritatively
the "Carolina doctrine."  Calhoun was a great debater, but hardly a
great orator.  His speeches are the arguments of a lawyer and a strict
constitutionalist, severely logical, and with a sincere conviction in
the soundness of his case.  Their language is free from bad rhetoric;
the reasoning is cogent, but there is an absence of emotion and
imagination; they contain few quotable things, and no passages of
commanding eloquence, such as strew the orations of Webster and Burke.
They are not, in short, literature.  Again, the speeches of Henry Clay,
of Kentucky, the leader of the Whigs, whose persuasive oratory is a
matter of tradition, disappoint in the reading.  The fire has gone out
of them.

Not so with Daniel Webster, the greatest of American forensic orators,
if, indeed, he be not the greatest of all orators who have used the
English tongue.  Webster's speeches are of the kind that have power to
move after the voice of the speaker is still.  The thought and the
passion in them lay hold on feelings of patriotism more lasting than
the issues of the moment.  It is, indeed, true of Webster's speeches,
as of all speeches, that they are known to posterity more by single
brilliant passages than as wholes.  In oratory the occasion is of the
essence of the thing, and only those parts of an address which are
permanent and universal in their appeal take their place in literature.
But of such detachable passages there are happily {426} many in
Webster's orations.  One great thought underlay all his public life,
the thought of the Union; of American nationality.  What in Hamilton
had been a principle of political philosophy had become in Webster a
passionate conviction.  The Union was his idol, and he was intolerant
of any faction which threatened it from any quarter, whether the
Nullifiers of South Carolina or the Abolitionists of the North.  It is
this thought which gives grandeur and elevation to all his utterances,
and especially to the wonderful peroration of his reply to Hayne, on
Mr. Foot's resolution touching the sale of the public lands, delivered
in the Senate on January 26, 1830, whose closing words, "liberty and
union, now and forever, one and inseparable," became the rallying cry
of a great cause.  Similar in sentiment was his famous speech of March
7, 1850, _On the Constitution and the Union_, which gave so much
offense to the extreme Antislavery party, who held with Garrison that a
Constitution which protected slavery was "a league with death and a
covenant with hell."  It is not claiming too much for Webster to assert
that the sentences of these and other speeches, memorized and declaimed
by thousands of school-boys throughout the North, did as much as any
single influence to train up a generation in hatred of secession, and
to send into the fields of the civil war armies of men animated with
the stern resolution to fight till the last drop of blood was shed,
rather than allow the Union to be dissolved.


The figure of this great senator is one of the most imposing in
American annals.  The masculine force of his personality impressed
itself upon men of a very different stamp--upon the unworldly Emerson,
and upon the captious Carlyle, whose respect was not willingly accorded
to any contemporary, much less to a representative of American
democracy.  Webster's looks and manner were characteristic.  His form
was massive, his skull and jaw solid, the underlip projecting, and the
mouth firmly and grimly shut; his complexion was swarthy, and his
black, deep set eyes, under shaggy brows, glowed with a smoldering
fire.  He was rather silent in society; his delivery in debate was
grave and weighty, rather than fervid.  His oratory was massive and
sometimes even ponderous.  It may be questioned whether an American
orator of to-day, with intellectual abilities equal to Webster's--if
such a one there were--would permit himself the use of sonorous and
elaborate pictures like the famous period which follows: "On this
question of principle, while actual suffering was yet afar off, they
raised their flag against a power, to which, for purposes of foreign
conquest and subjugation, Rome, in the height of her glory, is not to
be compared; a power which has dotted over the surface of the whole
globe with her possessions and military posts, whose morning drum-beat,
following the sun and keeping company with the hours, circles the earth
with one continuous and unbroken strain of the {428} martial airs of
England."  The secret of this kind of oratory has been lost.  The
present generation distrusts rhetorical ornament, and likes something
swifter, simpler, and more familiar in its speakers.  But every thing,
in declamation of this sort, depends on the way in which it is done.
Webster did it supremely well; a smaller man would merely have made
buncombe of it.

Among the legal orators of the time the foremost was Rufus Choate, an
eloquent pleader, and, like Webster, a United States Senator from
Massachusetts.  Some of his speeches, though excessively rhetorical,
have literary quality, and are nearly as effective in print as
Webster's own.  Another Massachusetts orator, Edward Everett, who in
his time was successively professor in Harvard College, Unitarian
minister in Boston, editor of the _North American Review_, member of
both houses of Congress, Minister to England, Governor of his State,
and President of Harvard, was a speaker of great finish and elegance.
His addresses were mainly of the memorial and anniversary kind, and
were rather lectures and Ph. B. K. prolusions than speeches.  Everett
was an instance of careful culture bestowed on a soil of no very great
natural richness.  It is doubtful whether his classical orations on
Washington, the Republic, Bunker Hill Monument, and kindred themes,
have enough of the breath of life in them to preserve them much longer
in recollection.

New England, during these years, did not take {429} that leading part
in the purely literary development of the country which it afterward
assumed.  It had no names to match against those of Irving and Cooper.
Drake and Halleck--slender as was their performance in point of
quantity--were better poets than the Boston bards, Charles Sprague,
whose _Shakespere Ode_, delivered at the Boston theater in 1823, was
locally famous; and Richard Henry Dana, whose longish narrative poem,
the _Buccaneer_, 1827, once had admirers.  But Boston has at no time
been without a serious intellectual life of its own, nor without a
circle of highly educated men of literary pursuits, even in default of
great geniuses.  The _North American Review_, established in 1815,
though it has been wittily described as "ponderously revolving through
space" for a few years after its foundation, did not exist in an
absolute vacuum, but was scholarly, if somewhat heavy.  Webster, to be
sure, was a Massachusetts man--as were Everett and Choate--but his
triumphs were won in the wider field of national politics.  There was,
however, a movement at this time in the intellectual life of Boston and
Eastern Massachusetts, which, though not immediately contributory to
the finer kinds of literature, prepared the way, by its clarifying and
stimulating influences, for the eminent writers of the next generation.
This was the Unitarian revolt against Puritan orthodoxy, in which
William Ellery Channing was the principal leader.  In a community so
intensely theological as New England it was natural that any {430} new
movement in thought should find its point of departure in the churches.
Accordingly, the progressive and democratic spirit of the age, which in
other parts of the country took other shapes, assumed in Massachusetts
the form of "liberal Christianity."  Arminianism, Socinianism, and
other phases of anti-Trinitarian doctrine, had been latent in some of
the Congregational churches of Massachusetts for a number of years.
But about 1812 the heresy broke out openly, and within a few years from
that date most of the oldest and wealthiest church societies of Boston
and its vicinity had gone over to Unitarianism, and Harvard College had
been captured, too.  In the controversy that ensued, and which was
carried on in numerous books, pamphlets, sermons, and periodicals,
there were eminent disputants on both sides.  So far as this
controversy was concerned with the theological doctrine of the Trinity,
it has no place in a history of literature.  But the issue went far
beyond that.  Channing asserted the dignity of human nature against the
Calvinistic doctrine of innate depravity, and affirmed the rights of
human reason and man's capacity to judge of God.  "We must start in
religion from our own souls," he said.  And in his _Moral Argument
against Calvinism_, 1820, he wrote: "Nothing is gained to piety by
degrading human nature, for in the competency of this nature to know
and judge of God all piety has its foundation."  In opposition to
Edwards's doctrine of necessity, he emphasized {431} the freedom of the
will.  He maintained that the Calvinistic dogmas of original sin,
foreordination, election by grace, and eternal punishment were
inconsistent with the divine perfection, and made God a monster.  In
Channing's view the great sanction of religious truth is the moral
sanction, is its agreement with the laws of conscience.  He was a
passionate vindicator of the liberty of the individual not only as
against political oppression but against the tyranny of public opinion
over thought and conscience: "We were made for free action.  This alone
is life, and enters into all that is good and great."  This jealous
love of freedom inspired all that he did and wrote.  It led him to join
the Antislavery party.  It expressed itself in his elaborate
arraignment of Napoleon in the Unitarian organ, the _Christian
Examiner_, for 1827-28; in his _Remarks on Associations_, and his paper
_On the Character and Writings of John Milton_, 1826.  This was his
most considerable contribution to literary criticism.  It took for a
text Milton's recently discovered _Treatise on Christian Doctrine_--the
tendency of which was anti-Trinitarian--but it began with a general
defense of poetry against "those who are accustomed to speak of poetry
as light reading."  This would now seem a somewhat superfluous
introduction to an article in any American review.  But it shows the
nature of the milieu through which the liberal movement in Boston had
to make its way.  To re-assert the dignity and usefulness of the
beautiful arts was, {432} perhaps, the chief service which the
Massachusetts Unitarians rendered to humanism.  The traditional
prejudice of the Puritans against the ornamental side of life had to be
softened before polite literature could find a congenial atmosphere in
New England.  In Channing's _Remarks on National Literature_, reviewing
a work published in 1823, he asks the question, "Do we possess what may
be called a national literature?" and answers it, by implication at
least, in the negative.  That we do now possess a national literature
is in great part due to the influence of Channing and his associates,
although his own writings, being in the main controversial and,
therefore, of temporary interest, may not themselves take rank among
the permanent treasures of that literature.

1. Washington Irving.  Knickerbocker's History of New York.  The Sketch
Book.  Bracebridge Hall.  Tales of a Traveler.  The Alhambra.  Life of
Oliver Goldsmith.

2. James Fenimore Cooper.  The Spy.  The Pilot.  The Red Rover.  The
Leather-Stocking Tales.

3. Daniel Webster.  Great Speeches and Orations.  Boston: Little,
Brown, & Co.  1879.

4. William Ellery Channing.  The Character and Writings of John Milton.
The Life and Character of Napoleon Bonaparte.  Slavery.  [Vols. I. and
II. of the Works of William E. Channing.  Boston: James Munroe & Co.


5. Joseph Rodman Drake.  The Culprit Fay.  The American Flag.
[Selected Poems.  New York.  1835.]

6.  Fitz-Greene Halleck.  Marco Bozzaris.  Alnwick Castle.  On the
Death of Drake.  [Poems.  New York.  1827.]

[1] Compare Carlyle's Herr Diogenes Teufelsdroeckh, in _Sartor
Resartus_, the author of the famous "Clothes Philosophy."





There has been but one movement in the history of the American mind
which has given to literature a group of writers having coherence
enough to merit the name of a school.  This was the great humanitarian
movement, or series of movements, in New England, which, beginning in
the Unitarianism of Channing, ran through its later phase in
Transcendentalism, and spent its last strength in the antislavery
agitation and the enthusiasms of the Civil War.  The second stage of
this intellectual and social revolt was Transcendentalism, of which
Emerson wrote, in 1842: "The history of genius and of religion in these
times will be the history of this tendency."  It culminated about
1840-41 in the establishment of the _Dial_ and the Brook Farm
Community, although Emerson had given the signal a few years before in
his little volume entitled _Nature_, 1836, his Phi-Beta Kappa address
at Harvard on the _American Scholar_, 1837, and his address in 1838
before the Divinity School at Cambridge.  Ralph Waldo Emerson
(1803-1882) was the prophet of the sect, and {435} Concord was its
Mecca; but the influence of the new ideas was not confined to the
little group of professed Transcendentalists; it extended to all the
young writers within reach, who struck their roots deeper into the soil
that it had loosened and freshened.  We owe to it, in great measure,
not merely Emerson, Alcott, Margaret Fuller, and Thoreau, but
Hawthorne, Lowell, Whittier, and Holmes.

In its strictest sense Transcendentalism was a restatement of the
idealistic philosophy, and an application of its beliefs to religion,
nature, and life.  But in a looser sense, and as including the more
outward manifestations which drew popular attention most strongly, it
was the name given to that spirit of dissent and protest, of universal
inquiry and experiment, which marked the third and fourth decades of
this century in America, and especially in New England.  The movement
was contemporary with political revolutions in Europe and with the
preaching of many novel gospels in religion, in sociology, in science,
education, medicine, and hygiene.  New sects were formed, like the
Swedenborgians, Universalists, Spiritualists, Millerites, Second
Adventists, Shakers, Mormons, and Come-outers, some of whom believed in
trances, miracles, and direct revelations from the divine Spirit;
others in the quick coming of Christ, as deduced from the opening of
the seals and the number of the beast in the Apocalypse; and still
others in the reorganization of society and {436} of the family on a
different basis.  New systems of education were tried, suggested by the
writings of the Swiss reformer, Pestalozzi, and others.  The
pseudo-sciences of mesmerism and of phrenology, as taught by Gall and
Spurzheim, had numerous followers.  In medicine, homeopathy,
hydropathy, and what Dr. Holmes calls "kindred delusions," made many
disciples.  Numbers of persons, influenced by the doctrines of Graham
and other vegetarians, abjured the use of animal food, as injurious not
only to health but to a finer spirituality.  Not a few refused to vote
or pay taxes.  The writings of Fourier and St. Simon were translated,
and societies were established where co-operation and a community of
goods should take the place of selfish competition.

About the year 1840 there were some thirty of these "phalansteries" in
America, many of which had their organs in the shape of weekly or
monthly journals, which advocated the principle of Association.  The
best known of these was probably the _Harbinger_, the mouth-piece of
the famous Brook Farm Community, which was founded at West Roxbury,
Mass., in 1841, and lasted till 1847.  The head man of Brook Farm was
George Ripley, a Unitarian clergyman, who had resigned his pulpit in
Boston to go into the movement, and who after its failure became and
remained for many years literary editor of the _New York Tribune_.
Among his associates were Charles A. Dana--now the editor of the
_Sun_--Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel {437} Hawthorne and others not
unknown to fame.  The _Harbinger_, which ran from 1845 to 1849--two
years after the break up of the community--had among its contributors
many who were not Brook Farmers, but who sympathized more or less with
the experiment.  Of the number were Horace Greeley, Dr. F. H.
Hedge--who did so much to introduce American readers to German
literature--J. S. Dwight, the musical critic, C. P. Cranch, the poet,
and younger men, like G. W. Curtis, and T. W. Higginson.  A reader of
to-day, looking into an odd volume of the _Harbinger_, will find in it
some stimulating writing, together with a great deal of unintelligible
talk about "Harmonic Unity," "Love Germination," and other matters now
fallen silent.  The most important literary result of this experiment
at "plain living and high thinking," with its queer mixture of culture
and agriculture, was Hawthorne's _Blithedale Romance_, which has for
its background an idealized picture of the community life, whose
heroine, Zenobia, has touches of Margaret Fuller; and whose hero, with
his hobby of prison reform, was a type of the one-idead philanthropists
that abounded in such an environment.  Hawthorne's attitude was always
in part one of reserve and criticism, an attitude which is apparent in
the reminiscences of Brook Farm in his _American Note Books_, wherein
he speaks with a certain resentment of "Miss Fuller's transcendental
heifer," which hooked the other cows, and was evidently to Hawthorne's
{438} mind not unsymbolic in this respect of Miss Fuller herself.

It was the day of seers and "Orphic" utterances; the air was full of
the enthusiasm of humanity and thick with philanthropic projects and
plans for the regeneration of the universe.  The figure of the
wild-eyed, long-haired reformer--the man with a panacea--the "crank" of
our later terminology--became a familiar one.  He abounded at
non-resistance conventions and meetings of universal peace societies
and of woman's rights associations.  The movement had its grotesque
aspects, which Lowell has described in his essay on Thoreau.  "Bran had
its apostles and the pre-sartorial simplicity of Adam its martyrs,
tailored impromptu from the tar-pot. . . .  Not a few impecunious
zealots abjured the use of money (unless earned by other people),
professing to live on the internal revenues of the spirit. . . .
Communities were established where every thing was to be common but
common sense."

This ferment has long since subsided and much of what was then seething
has gone off in vapor or other volatile products.  But some very solid
matters also have been precipitated, some crystals of poetry
translucent, symmetrical, enduring.  The immediate practical outcome
was disappointing, and the external history of the agitation is a
record of failed experiments, spurious sciences, Utopian philosophies,
and sects founded only to dwindle away or be reabsorbed into some form
of {439} orthodoxy.  In the eyes of the conservative, or the
worldly-minded, or of the plain people who could not understand the
enigmatic utterances of the reformers, the dangerous or ludicrous sides
of transcendentalism were naturally uppermost.  Nevertheless the
movement was but a new avatar of the old Puritan spirit; its moral
earnestness, its spirituality, its tenderness for the individual
conscience.  Puritanism, too, in its day had run into grotesque
extremes.  Emerson bore about the same relation to the absurder
outcroppings of transcendentalism that Milton bore to the New Lights,
Ranters, Fifth Monarchy Men, etc., of his time.  There is in him that
mingling of idealism with an abiding sanity, and even a Yankee
shrewdness, which characterizes the race.  The practical, inventive,
calculating, money-getting side of the Yankee has been made
sufficiently obvious.  But the deep heart of New England is full of
dreams, mysticism, romance:

  "And in the day of sacrifice,
    When heroes piled the pyre,
  The dismal Massachusetts ice
    Burned more than others' fire."

The one element which the odd and eccentric developments of this
movement shared in common with the real philosophy of transcendentalism
was the rejection of authority and the appeal to the private
consciousness as the sole standard of truth and right.  This principle
certainly lay in the ethical {440} systems of Kant and Fichte, the
great transcendentalists of Germany.  It had been strongly asserted by
Channing.  Nay, it was the starting point of Puritanism itself, which
had drawn away from the ceremonial religion of the English Church and
by its Congregational system had made each church society independent
in doctrine and worship.  And although Puritan orthodoxy in New England
had grown rigid and dogmatic, it had never used the weapons of
obscurantism.  By encouraging education to the utmost it had shown its
willingness to submit its beliefs to the fullest discussion and had put
into the hands of dissent the means with which to attack them.

In its theological aspect transcendentalism was a departure from
conservative Unitarianism, as that had been from Calvinism.  From
Edwards to Channing, from Channing to Emerson and Theodore Parker,
there was a natural and logical unfolding.  Not logical in the sense
that Channing accepted Edwards' premises and pushed them out to their
conclusions, or that Parker accepted all of Channing's premises, but in
the sense that the rigid pushing out of Edwards' premises into their
conclusions by himself and his followers had brought about a moral
_reductio ad absurdum_ and a state of opinion against which Channing
rebelled; and that Channing, as it seemed to Parker, stopped short in
the carrying out of his own principles.  Thus the "Channing
Unitarians," while denying that Christ was God, had held that he was of
{441} divine nature, was the Son of God, and had existed before he came
into the world.  While rejecting the doctrine of the "Vicarious
sacrifice" they maintained that Christ was a mediator and intercessor,
and that his supernatural nature was testified by miracles.  For Parker
and Emerson it was easy to take the step to the assertion that Christ
was a good and great man, divine only in the sense that God possessed
him more fully than any other man known in history; that it was his
preaching and example that brought salvation to men, and not any
special mediation or intercession, and that his own words and acts, and
not miracles, are the only and the sufficient witness to his mission.
In the view of the transcendentalists Christ was as human as Buddha,
Socrates or Confucius, and the Bible was but one among the "Ethnical
Scriptures" or sacred writings of the peoples, passages from which were
published in the transcendental organ, the _Dial_.  As against these
new views Channing Unitarianism occupied already a conservative
position.  The Unitarians as a body had never been very numerous
outside of Eastern Massachusets.  They had a few churches in New York
and in the larger cities and towns elsewhere, but the sect, as such,
was a local one.  Orthodoxy made a sturdy fight against the heresy,
under leaders like Leonard Woods and Moses Stuart, of Andover, and
Lyman Beecher, of Connecticut.  In the neighboring State of
Connecticut, for example, there was until lately, for {442} a period of
several years, no distinctly Unitarian congregation worshiping in a
church edifice of its own.  On the other hand, the Unitarians claimed,
with justice, that their opinions had to a great extent modified the
theology of the orthodox churches.  The writings of Horace Bushnell, of
Hartford, one of the most eminent Congregational divines, approach
Unitarianism in their interpretation of the doctrine of the Atonement;
and the "progressive orthodoxy" of Andover is certainly not the
Calvinism of Thomas Hooker or of Jonathan Edwards.  But it seemed to
the transcendentalists that conservative Unitarianism was too negative
and "cultured," and Margaret Fuller complained of the coldness of the
Boston pulpits.  While contrariwise the central thought of
transcendentalism, that the soul has an immediate connection with God,
was pronounced by Dr. Channing a "crude speculation."  This was the
thought of Emerson's address in 1838 before the Cambridge Divinity
School, and it was at once made the object of attack by conservative
Unitarians like Henry Ware and Andrews Norton.  The latter in an
address before the same audience, on the _Latest Form of Infidelity_,
said: "Nothing is left that can be called Christianity if its
miraculous character be denied. . . .  There can be no intuition, no
direct perception of the truth of Christianity."  And in a pamphlet
supporting the same side of the question he added: "It is not an
intelligible error but a mere absurdity to maintain {443} that we are
conscious, or have an intuitive knowledge, of the being of God, of our
own immortality . . . or of any other fact of religion."  Ripley and
Parker replied in Emerson's defense; but Emerson himself would never be
drawn into controversy.  He said that he could not argue.  He announced
truths; his method was that of the seer, not of the disputant.  In 1832
Emerson, who was a Unitarian clergyman, and descended from eight
generations of clergymen, had resigned the pastorate of the Second
Church of Boston because he could not conscientiously administer the
sacrament of the communion--which he regarded as a mere act of
commemoration--in the sense in which it was understood by his
parishioners.  Thenceforth, though he sometimes occupied Unitarian
pulpits, and was, indeed, all his life a kind of "lay preacher," he
never assumed the pastorate of a church.  The representative of
transcendentalism in the pulpit was Theodore Parker, an eloquent
preacher, an eager debater and a prolific writer on many subjects,
whose collected works fill fourteen volumes.  Parker was a man of
strongly human traits, passionate, independent, intensely religious,
but intensely radical, who made for himself a large personal following.
The more advanced wing of the Unitarians were called, after him,
"Parkerites."  Many of the Unitarian churches refused to "fellowship"
with him; and the large congregation, or audience, which assembled in
Music Hall to hear his sermons was {444} stigmatized as a "boisterous
assembly" which came to hear Parker preach irreligion.

It has been said that, on its philosophical side, New England
transcendentalism was a restatement of idealism.  The impulse came from
Germany, from the philosophical writings of Kant, Fichte, Jacobi, and
Schelling, and from the works of Coleridge and Carlyle, who had
domesticated German thought in England.  In Channing's _Remarks on a
National Literature_, quoted in our last chapter, the essayist urged
that our scholars should study the authors of France and Germany as one
means of emancipating American letters from a slavish dependence on
British literature.  And in fact German literature began, not long
after, to be eagerly studied in New England.  Emerson published an
American edition of Carlyle's _Miscellanies_, including his essays on
German writers that had appeared in England between 1822 and 1830.  In
1838 Ripley began to publish _Specimens of Foreign Standard
Literature_, which extended to fourteen volumes.  In his work of
translating and supplying introductions to the matter selected he was
helped by Ripley, Margaret Fuller, John S. Dwight and others who had
more or less connection with the transcendental movement.

The definition of the new faith given by Emerson in his lecture on the
_Transcendentalist_, 1842, is as follows: "What is popularly called
transcendentalism among us is idealism. . . .  The idealism of the
present day acquired the name of transcendental {445} from the use of
that term by Immanuel Kant, who replied to the skeptical philosophy of
Locke, which insisted that there was nothing in the intellect which was
not previously in the experience of the senses, by showing that there
was a very important class of ideas, or imperative forms, which did not
come by experience, but through which experience was acquired; that
these were intuitions of the mind itself, and he denominated them
_transcendental_ forms."  Idealism denies the independent existence of
matter.  Transcendentalism claims for the innate ideas of God and the
soul a higher assurance of reality than for the knowledge of the
outside world derived through the senses.  Emerson shares the "noble
doubt" of idealism.  He calls the universe a shade, a dream, "this
great apparition."  "It is a sufficient account of that appearance we
call the world," he wrote in _Nature_, "that God will teach a human
mind, and so makes it the receiver of a certain number of congruent
sensations which we call sun and moon, man and woman, house and trade.
In my utter impotence to test the authenticity of the report of my
senses, to know whether the impressions on me correspond with outlying
objects, what difference does it make whether Orion is up there in
heaven or some god paints the image in the firmament of the soul?"  On
the other hand our evidence of the existence of God and of our own
souls, and our knowledge of right and wrong, are immediate, and are
independent of the senses.  {446} We are in direct communication with
the "Oversoul," the infinite Spirit.  "The soul in man is the
background of our being--an immensity not possessed, that cannot be
possessed."  "From within or from behind a light shines through us upon
things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all."
Revelation is "an influx of the Divine mind into our mind.  It is an
ebb of the individual rivulet before the flowing surges of the sea of
life."  In moods of exaltation, and especially in the presence of
nature, this contact of the individual soul with the absolute is felt.
"All mean egotism vanishes.  I become a transparent eyeball; I am
nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate
through me; I am part and particle of God."  The existence and
attributes of God are not deducible from history or from natural
theology, but are thus directly given us in consciousness.  In his
essay on the _Transcendentalist_, Emerson says: "His experience
inclines him to behold the procession of facts you call the world
as flowing perpetually outward from an invisible, unsounded center
in himself; center alike of him and of them and necessitating
him to regard all things as having a subjective or relative
existence--relative to that aforesaid Unknown Center of him.  There is
no bar or wall in the soul where man, the effect, ceases, and God, the
cause, begins.  We lie open on one side to the deeps of spiritual
nature, to the attributes of God."


Emerson's point of view, though familiar to students of philosophy, is
strange to the popular understanding, and hence has arisen the
complaint of his obscurity.  Moreover, he apprehended and expressed
these ideas as a poet, in figurative and emotional language, and not as
a metaphysician, in a formulated statement.  His own position in
relation to systematic philosophers is described in what he says of
Plato, in his series of sketches entitled _Representative Men_, 1850:
"He has not a system.  The dearest disciples and defenders are at
fault.  He attempted a theory of the universe, and his theory is not
complete or self-evident.  One man thinks he means this, and another
that; he has said one thing in one place, and the reverse of it in
another place."  It happens, therefore, that, to many students of more
formal philosophies Emerson's meaning seems elusive, and he appears to
write from temporary moods and to contradict himself.  Had he attempted
a reasoned exposition of the transcendental philosophy, instead of
writing essays and poems, he might have added one more to the number of
system-mongers; but he would not have taken that significant place
which he occupies in the general literature of the time, nor exerted
that wide influence upon younger writers which has been one of the
stimulating forces in American thought.  It was because Emerson was a
poet that he is our Emerson.  And yet it would be impossible to
disentangle his peculiar philosophical ideas from the body of his {448}
writings and to leave the latter to stand upon their merits as
literature merely.  He is the poet of certain high abstractions, and
his religion is central to all his work--excepting, perhaps, his
_English Traits_, 1856, an acute study of national characteristics, and
a few of his essays and verses, which are independent of any particular
philosophical standpoint.

When Emerson resigned his parish in 1832 he made a short trip to
Europe, where he visited Carlyle at Craigenputtoch, and Landor at
Florence.  On his return he retired to his birthplace, the village of
Concord, Massachusetts, and settled down among his books and his
fields, becoming a sort of "glorified farmer," but issuing frequently
from his retirement to instruct and delight audiences of thoughtful
people at Boston and at other points all through the country.  Emerson
was the perfection of a lyceum lecturer.  His manner was quiet but
forcible; his voice of charming quality, and his enunciation clean cut
and refined.  The sentence was his unit in composition.  His lectures
seemed to begin anywhere and to end anywhere, and to resemble strings
of exquisitely polished sayings rather than continuous discourses.  His
printed essays, with unimportant exceptions, were first written and
delivered as lectures.  In 1836 he published his first book, _Nature_,
which remains the most systematic statement of his philosophy.  It
opened a fresh spring-head in American thought, and the words of its
introduction announced that its author had broken with {449} the past.
"Why should not we also enjoy an original relation to the universe?
Why should not we have a poetry and philosophy of insight and not of
tradition, and a religion by revelation to us and not the history of

It took eleven years to sell five hundred copies of this little book.
But the year following its publication the remarkable Phi Beta Kappa
address at Cambridge, on the _American Scholar_, electrified the little
public of the university.  This is described by Lowell as "an event
without any former parallel in our literary annals, a scene to be
always treasured in the memory for its picturesqueness and its
inspiration.  What crowded and breathless aisles, what windows
clustering with eager heads, what grim silence of foregone dissent!"
To Concord came many kindred spirits, drawn by Emerson's magnetic
attraction.  Thither came, from Connecticut, Amos Bronson Alcott, born
a few years before Emerson, whom he outlived; a quaint and benignant
figure, a visionary and a mystic even among the transcendentalists
themselves, and one who lived in unworldly simplicity the life of the
soul.  Alcott had taught school at Cheshire, Conn., and afterward at
Boston on an original plan--compelling his scholars, for example, to
flog _him_, when they did wrong, instead of taking a flogging
themselves.  The experiment was successful until his _Conversations on
the Gospels_, in Boston, and his insistence upon admitting colored
children to his benches, offended conservative opinion and {450} broke
up his school.  Alcott renounced the eating of animal food in 1835.  He
believed in the union of thought and manual labor, and supported
himself for some years by the work of his hands, gardening, cutting
wood, etc.  He traveled into the West and elsewhere, holding
conversations on philosophy, education, and religion.  He set up a
little community at the village of Harvard, which was rather less
successful than Brook Farm, and he contributed _Orphic Sayings_ to the
_Dial_, which were harder for the exoteric to understand than even
Emerson's _Brahma_ or the _Over-soul_.

Thither came, also, Sarah Margaret Fuller, the most intellectual woman
of her time in America, an eager student of Greek and German literature
and an ardent seeker after the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.  She
threw herself into many causes--temperance, antislavery, and the higher
education of women.  Her brilliant conversation classes in Boston
attracted many "minds" of her own sex.  Subsequently, as literary
editor of the _New York Tribune_, she furnished a wider public with
reviews and book-notices of great ability.  She took part in the Brook
Farm experiment, and she edited the _Dial_ for a time, contributing to
it the papers afterward expanded into her most considerable book,
_Woman in the Nineteenth Century_.  In 1846 she went abroad, and at
Rome took part in the revolutionary movement of Mazzini, having charge
of one of the hospitals during the siege of the city by the {451}
French.  In 1847 she married an impecunious Italian nobleman, the
Marquis Ossoli.  In 1850 the ship on which she was returning to
America, with her husband and child, was wrecked on Fire Island beach
and all three were lost.  Margaret Fuller's collected writings are
somewhat disappointing, being mainly of temporary interest.  She lives
less through her books than through the memoirs of her friends,
Emerson, James Freeman Clarke, T. W. Higginson, and others who knew her
as a personal influence.  Her strenuous and rather overbearing
individuality made an impression not altogether agreeable upon many of
her contemporaries.  Lowell introduced a caricature of her as "Miranda"
into his _Fable for Critics_, and Hawthorne's caustic sketch of her,
preserved in the biography written by his son, has given great offense
to her admirers.  "Such a determination to _eat_ this huge universe!"
was Carlyle's characteristic comment on her appetite for knowledge and
aspirations after perfection.

To Concord also came Nathaniel Hawthorne, who took up his residence
there first at the "Old Manse," and afterward at "The Wayside."  Though
naturally an idealist, he said that he came too late to Concord to fall
decidedly under Emerson's influence.  Of that he would have stood in
little danger even had he come earlier.  He appreciated the deep and
subtle quality of Emerson's imagination, but his own shy genius always
jealously guarded its independence and {452} resented the too close
approaches of an alien mind.  Among the native disciples of Emerson at
Concord the most noteworthy were Henry Thoreau, and his friend and
biographer, William Ellery Channing, Jr., a nephew of the great
Channing.  Channing was a contributor to the _Dial_, and he published a
volume of poems which elicited a fiercely contemptuous review from
Edgar Poe.  Though disfigured by affectation and obscurity, many of
Channing's verses were distinguished by true poetic feeling, and the
last line of his little piece, _A Poet's Hope_,

  "If my bark sink 'tis to another sea,"

has taken a permanent place in the literature of transcendentalism.

The private organ of the transcendentalists was the _Dial_, a quarterly
magazine, published from 1840 to 1844, and edited by Emerson and
Margaret Fuller.  Among its contributors, besides those already
mentioned, were Ripley, Thoreau, Parker, James Freeman Clarke, Charles
A. Dana, John S. Dwight, C. P. Cranch, Charles Emerson and William H.
Channing, another nephew of Dr. Channing.  It contained, along with a
good deal of rubbish, some of the best poetry and prose that have been
published in America.  The most lasting part of its contents were the
contributions of Emerson and Thoreau.  But even as a whole, it is so
unique a way-mark in the history of our literature that all its four
volumes--copies of which {453} had become scarce--have been recently
reprinted in answer to a demand certainly very unusual in the case of
an extinct periodical.

From time to time Emerson collected and published his lectures under
various titles.  A first series of _Essays_ came out in 1841, and a
second in 1844; the _Conduct of Life_ in 1860, _Society and Solitude_
in 1870, _Letters and Social Aims_, in 1876, and the _Fortune of the
Republic_ in 1878.  In 1847 he issued a volume of _Poems_, and 1865
_Mayday and Other Poems_.  These writings, as a whole, were variations
on a single theme, expansions and illustrations of the philosophy set
forth in _Nature_, and his early addresses.  They were strikingly
original, rich in thought, filled with wisdom, with lofty morality and
spiritual religion.  Emerson, said Lowell, first "cut the cable that
bound us to English thought and gave us a chance at the dangers and
glories of blue water."  Nevertheless, as it used to be the fashion to
find an English analogue for every American writer, so that Cooper was
called the American Scott, and Mrs. Sigourney was described as the
Hemans of America, a well-worn critical tradition has coupled Emerson
with Carlyle.  That his mind received a nudge from Carlyle's early
essays and from _Sartor Resartus_ is beyond a doubt.  They were
life-long friends and correspondents, and Emerson's _Representative
Men_ is, in some sort, a counterpart of Carlyle's _Hero Worship_.  But
in temper and style the two writers were widely different.  Carlyle's
pessimism and {454} dissatisfaction with the general drift of things
gained upon him more and more, while Emerson was a consistent optimist
to the end.  The last of his writings published during his life-time,
the _Fortune of the Republic_, contrasts strangely in its hopefulness
with the desperation of Carlyle's later utterances.  Even in presence
of the doubt as to man's personal immortality he takes refuge in a high
and stoical faith.  "I think all sound minds rest on a certain
preliminary conviction, namely: that if it be best that conscious
personal life shall continue it will continue, and if not best, then it
will not; and we, if we saw the whole, should of course see that it was
better so."  It is this conviction that gives to Emerson's writings
their serenity and their tonic quality at the same time that it narrows
the range of his dealings with life.  As the idealist declines to
cross-examine those facts which he regards as merely phenomenal, and
looks upon this outward face of things as upon a mask not worthy to
dismay the fixed soul, so the optimist turns away his eyes from the
evil which he disposes of as merely negative, as the shadow of the
good.  Hawthorne's interest in the problem of sin finds little place in
Emerson's philosophy.  Passion comes not nigh him and _Faust_ disturbs
him with its disagreeableness.  Pessimism is to him "the only

The greatest literature is that which is most broadly human, or, in
other words, that which will square best with all philosophies.  But
Emerson's {455} genius was interpretive rather than constructive.  The
poet dwells in the cheerful world of phenomena.  He is most the poet
who realizes most intensely the good and the bad of human life.  But
Idealism makes experience shadowy and subordinates action to
contemplation.  To it the cities of men, with their "frivolous

  ". . . are but sailing foam-bells
  Along thought's causing stream."

Shakespere does not forget that the world will one day vanish "like the
baseless fabric of a vision," and that we ourselves are "such stuff as
dreams are made on;" but this is not the mood in which he dwells.
Again: while it is for the philosopher to reduce variety to unity, it
is the poet's task to detect the manifold under uniformity.  In the
great creative poets, in Shakespere and Dante and Goethe, how infinite
the swarm of persons, the multitude of forms!  But with Emerson the
type is important, the common element.  "In youth we are mad for
persons.  But the larger experience of man discovers the identical
nature appearing through them all."  "The same--the same!" he exclaims
in his essay on _Plato_.  "Friend and foe are of one stuff; the
plowman, the plow and the furrow are of one stuff."  And this is the
thought in _Brahma_:

  "They reckon ill who leave me out;
    When me they fly I am the wings:
  I am the doubter and the doubt,
    And I the hymn the Brahmin sings."

{456} It is not easy to fancy a writer who holds this altitude toward
"persons" descending to the composition of a novel or a play.  Emerson
showed, indeed, a fine power of character analysis in his _English
Traits_ and _Representative Men_ and in his memoirs of Thoreau and
Margaret Fuller.  There is even a sort of dramatic humor in his
portrait of Socrates.  But upon the whole he stands midway between
constructive artists, whose instinct it is to tell a story or sing a
song, ami philosophers, like Schelling, who give poetic expression to a
system of thought.  He belongs to the class of minds of which Sir
Thomas Browne is the best English example.  He set a high value upon
Browne, to whose style his own, though far more sententious, bears a
resemblance.  Browne's saying, for example, "All things are artificial,
for nature is the art of God," sounds like Emerson, whose workmanship,
for the rest, in his prose essays was exceedingly fine and close.  He
was not afraid to be homely and racy in expressing thought of the
highest spirituality.  "Hitch your wagon to a star" is a good instance
of his favorite manner.

Emerson's verse often seems careless in technique.  Most of his pieces
are scrappy and have the air of runic rimes, or little oracular
"voicings"--as they say in Concord--in rhythmic shape, of single
thoughts on "Worship," "Character," "Heroism," "Art," "Politics,"
"Culture," etc.  The content is the important thing, and the form is
too frequently awkward or bald.  Sometimes, indeed, in the {457}
clear-obscure of Emerson's poetry the deep wisdom of the thought finds
its most natural expression in the imaginative simplicity of the
language.  But though this artlessness in him became too frequently in
his imitators, like Thoreau and Ellery Channing, an obtruded
simplicity, among his own poems are many that leave nothing to be
desired in point of wording and of verse.  His _Hymn Sung at the
Completion of the Concord Monument_, in 1836, is the perfect model of
an occasional poem.  Its lines were on every one's lips at the time of
the centennial celebrations in 1876, and "the shot heard round the
world" has hardly echoed farther than the song which chronicled it.
Equally current is the stanza from _Voluntaries_:

  "So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
    So near is God to man,
  When Duty whispers low, 'Thou must,'
    The youth replies, 'I can.'"

So, too, the famous lines from the _Problem_:

  "The hand that rounded Peter's dome,
  And groined the aisles of Christian Rome,
  Wrought in a sad sincerity.
  Himself from God he could not free;
  He builded better than he knew;
  The conscious stone to beauty grew."

The most noteworthy of Emerson's pupils was Henry David Thoreau, "the
poet-naturalist."  After his graduation from Harvard College, in 1837,
Thoreau engaged in school teaching and in {458} the manufacture of
lead-pencils, but soon gave up all regular business and devoted himself
to walking, reading, and the study of nature.  He was at one time
private tutor in a family on Staten Island, and he supported himself
for a season by doing odd jobs in land surveying for the farmers about
Concord.  In 1845 he built, with his own hands, a small cabin on the
banks of Walden Pond, near Concord, and lived there in seclusion for
two years.  His expenses during these years were nine cents a day, and
he gave an account of his experiment in his most characteristic book,
_Walden_, published in 1854.  His _Week on the Concord and Merrimac
Rivers_ appeared in 1849.  From time to time he went farther afield,
and his journeys were reported in _Cape Cod_, the _Maine Woods_,
_Excursions_, and a _Yankee in Canada_, all of which, as well as a
volume of _Letters_ and _Early Spring in Massachusetts_, have been
given to the public since his death, which happened in 1862.  No one
has lived so close to nature, and written of it so intimately, as
Thoreau.  His life was a lesson in economy and a sermon on Emerson's
text, "Lessen your denominator."  He wished to reduce existence to the
simplest terms--to

        "live all alone
  Close to the bone,
  And where life is sweet
  Constantly eat."

He had a passion for the wild, and seems like an Anglo-Saxon reversion
to the type of the Red {459} Indian.  The most distinctive note in
Thoreau is his inhumanity.  Emerson spoke of him as a "perfect piece of
stoicism."  "Man," said Thoreau, "is only the point on which I stand."
He strove to realize the objective life of nature--nature in its
aloofness from man; to identify himself, with the moose and the
mountain.  He listened, with his ear close to the ground, for the voice
of the earth.  "What are the trees saying?" he exclaimed.  Following
upon the trail of the lumberman he asked the primeval wilderness for
its secret, and

      "saw beneath dim aisles, in odorous beds,
  The slight linnaea hang its twin-born heads."

He tried to interpret the thought of Ktaadn and to fathom the meaning
of the billows on the back of Cape Cod, in their indifference to the
shipwrecked bodies that they rolled ashore.  "After sitting in my
chamber many days, reading the poets, I have been out early on a foggy
morning and heard the cry of an owl in a neighboring wood as from a
nature behind the common, unexplored by science or by literature.  None
of the feathered race has yet realized my youthful conceptions of the
woodland depths.  I had seen the red election-birds brought from their
recesses on my comrade's string, and fancied that their plumage would
assume stranger and more dazzling colors, like the tints of evening, in
proportion as I advanced farther into the darkness and solitude of the
forest.  Still less have I seen such strong and wild tints on any
poet's string."


It was on the mystical side that Thoreau apprehended transcendentalism.
Mysticism has been defined as the soul's recognition of its identity
with nature.  This thought lies plainly in Schelling's philosophy, and
he illustrated it by his famous figure of the magnet.  Mind and nature
are one; they are the positive and negative poles of the magnet.  In
man, the Absolute--that is, God--becomes conscious of himself; makes of
himself, as nature, an object to himself as mind.  "The souls of men,"
said Schelling, "are but the innumerable individual eyes with which our
infinite World-Spirit beholds himself."  This thought is also clearly
present in Emerson's view of nature, and has caused him to be accused
of pantheism.  But if by pantheism is meant the doctrine that the
underlying principle of the universe is matter or force, none of the
transcendentalists was a pantheist.  In their view nature was divine.
Their poetry is always haunted by the sense of a spiritual reality
which abides beyond the phenomena.  Thus in Emerson's _Two Rivers_:

  "Thy summer voice, Musketaquit,[1]
    Repeats the music of the rain,
  But sweeter rivers pulsing flit
    Through thee as thou through Concord plain.

  "Thou in thy narrow banks art pent:
    The stream I love unbounded goes;
  Through flood and sea and firmament,
    Through light, through life, it forward flows.


  "I see the inundation sweet,
    I hear the spending of the stream,
  Through years, through men, through nature fleet,
    Through passion, thought, through power and dream."

This mood occurs frequently in Thoreau.  The hard world of matter
becomes suddenly all fluent and spiritual, and he sees himself in
it--sees God.  "This earth," he cries, "which is spread out like a map
around me, is but the lining of my inmost soul exposed."  "In _me_ is
the sucker that I see;" and, of Walden Pond,

  "I am its stony shore,
  And the breeze that passes o'er."

"Suddenly old Time winked at me--ah, you know me, you rogue--and news
had come that IT was well.  That ancient universe is in such capital
health, I think, undoubtedly, it will never die. . . .  I see, smell,
taste, hear, feel that everlasting something to which we are allied, at
once our maker, our abode, our destiny, our very selves."  It was
something ulterior that Thoreau sought in nature.  "The other world,"
he wrote, "is all my art: my pencils will draw no other: my jackknife
will cut nothing else."  Thoreau did not scorn, however, like Emerson,
to "examine too microscopically the universal tablet."  He was a close
observer and accurate reporter of the ways of birds and plants and the
minuter aspects of nature.  He has had many followers, who have
produced much pleasant literature on out-door {462} life.  But in none
of them is there that unique combination of the poet, the naturalist
and the mystic which gives his page its wild original flavor.  He had
the woodcraft of a hunter and the eye of a botanist, but his
imagination did not stop short with the fact.  The sound of a tree
falling in the Maine woods was to him "as though a door had shut
somewhere in the damp and shaggy wilderness."  He saw small things in
cosmic relations.  His trip down the tame Concord has for the reader
the excitement of a voyage of exploration into far and unknown regions.
The river just above Sherman's Bridge, in time of flood "when the wind
blows freshly on a raw March day, heaving up the surface into dark and
sober billows," was like Lake Huron, "and you may run aground on
Cranberry Island," and "get as good a freezing there as anywhere on the
North-west coast."  He said that most of the phenomena described in
Kane's voyages could be observed in Concord.

The literature of transcendentalism was like the light of the stars in
a winter night, keen and cold and high.  It had the pale cast of
thought, and was almost too spiritual and remote to "hit the sense of
mortal sight."  But it was at least indigenous.  If not an American
literature--not national and not inclusive of all sides of American
life--it was, at all events, a genuine New England literature and true
to the spirit of its section.  The tough Puritan stock had at last put
forth a {463} blossom which compared with the warm, robust growths of
English soil even as the delicate wind flower of the northern spring
compares with the cowslips and daisies of old England.

In 1842 Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) the greatest American romancer,
came to Concord.  He had recently left Brook Farm, had just been
married, and with his bride he settled down in the "Old Manse" for
three paradisaical years.  A picture of this protracted honeymoon and
this sequestered life, as tranquil as the slow stream on whose banks it
was passed, is given in the introductory chapter to his _Mosses from an
Old Manse_, 1846, and in the more personal and confidential records of
his _American Note Books_, posthumously published.  Hawthorne was
thirty-eight when he took his place among the Concord literati.  His
childhood and youth had been spent partly at his birthplace, the old
and already somewhat decayed sea-port town of Salem, and partly at his
grandfather's farm on Sebago Lake, in Maine, then on the edge of the
primitive forest.  Maine did not become a State, indeed, until 1820,
the year before Hawthorne entered Bowdoin College, whence he was
graduated in 1825, in the same class with Henry W. Longfellow and one
year behind Franklin Pierce, afterward President of the United States.
After leaving college Hawthorne buried himself for years in the
seclusion of his home at Salem.  His mother, who was early widowed, had
withdrawn entirely from the world.  For months {464} at a time
Hawthorne kept his room, seeing no other society than that of his
mother and sisters, reading all sorts of books and writing wild tales,
most of which he destroyed as soon as he had written them.  At twilight
he would emerge from the house for a solitary ramble through the
streets of the town or along the sea-side.  Old Salem had much that was
picturesque in its associations.  It had been the scene of the witch
trials in the seventeenth century, and it abounded in ancient mansions,
the homes of retired whalers and India merchants.  Hawthorne's father
had been a ship captain, and many of his ancestors had followed the
sea.  One of his forefathers, moreover, had been a certain Judge
Hawthorne, who in 1691 had sentenced several of the witches to death.
The thought of this affected Hawthorne's imagination with a pleasing
horror and he utilized it afterward in his _House of the Seven Gables_.
Many of the old Salem houses, too, had their family histories, with now
and then the hint of some obscure crime or dark misfortune which
haunted posterity with its curse till all the stock died out, or fell
into poverty and evil ways, as in the Pyncheon family of Hawthorne's
romance.  In the preface to the _Marble Faun_ Hawthorne wrote: "No
author without a trial can conceive of the difficulty of writing a
romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no
mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor any thing but a
commonplace prosperity in broad and simple daylight."  And yet it may
{465} be doubted whether any environment could have been found more
fitted to his peculiar genius than this of his native town, or any
preparation better calculated to ripen the faculty that was in him than
these long, lonely years of waiting and brooding thought.  From time to
time he contributed a story or a sketch to some periodical, such as S.
G. Goodrich's Annual, the _Token_, or the _Knickerbocker Magazine_.
Some of these attracted the attention of the judicious; but they were
anonymous and signed by various _noms de plume_, and their author was
at this time--to use his own words--"the obscurest man of letters in
America."  In 1828 he had issued anonymously and at his own expense a
short romance, entitled _Fanshawe_.  It had little success, and copies
of the first edition are now exceedingly rare.  In 1837 he published a
collection of his magazine pieces under the title, _Twice Told Tales_.
The book was generously praised in the _North American Review_ by his
former classmate, Longfellow; and Edgar Poe showed his keen critical
perception by predicting that the writer would easily put himself at
the head of imaginative literature in America if he would discard
allegory, drop short stories and compose a genuine romance.  Poe
compared Hawthorne's work with that of the German romancer, Tieck, and
it is interesting to find confirmation of this dictum in passages of
the _American Note Books_, in which Hawthorne speaks of laboring over
Tieck with a German dictionary.  The {466} _Twice Told Tales_ are the
work of a recluse, who makes guesses at life from a knowledge of his
own heart, acquired by a habit of introspection, but who has had little
contact with men.  Many of them were shadowy and others were morbid and
unwholesome.  But their gloom was of an interior kind, never the
physically horrible of Poe.  It arose from weird psychological
situations like that of _Ethan Brand_ in his search for the
unpardonable sin.  Hawthorne was true to the inherited instinct of
Puritanism; he took the conscience for his theme, and in these early
tales he was already absorbed in the problem of evil, the subtle ways
in which sin works out its retribution, and the species of fate or
necessity that the wrong-doer makes for himself in the inevitable
sequences of his crime.  Hawthorne was strongly drawn toward symbols
and types, and never quite followed Poe's advice to abandon allegory.
The _Scarlet Letter_ and his other romances are not, indeed, strictly
allegories, since the characters are men and women and not mere
personifications of abstract qualities.  Still they all have a certain
allegorical tinge.  In the _Marble Faun_, for example, Hilda, Kenyon,
Miriam and Donatello have been ingeniously explained as
personifications respectively of the conscience, the reason, the
imagination and the senses.  Without going so far as this, it is
possible to see in these and in Hawthorne's other creations something
typical and representative.  He uses his characters like algebraic
symbols to work {467} out certain problems with: they are rather more
and yet rather less than flesh and blood individuals.  The stories in
_Twice Told Tales_ and in the second collection, _Mosses from an Old
Manse_, 1846, are more openly allegorical than his later work.  Thus
the _Minister's Black Veil_ is a sort of anticipation of Arthur
Dimmesdale in the _Scarlet Letter_.  From 1846 to 1849 Hawthorne held
the position of Surveyor of the Custom House of Salem.  In the preface
to the _Scarlet Letter_ he sketched some of the government officials
with whom this office had brought him into contact in a way that gave
some offense to the friends of the victims and a great deal of
amusement to the public.  Hawthorne's humor was quiet and fine, like
Irving's, but less genial and with a more satiric edge to it.  The book
last named was written at Salem and published in 1850, just before its
author's removal to Lenox, now a sort of inland Newport, but then an
unfashionable resort among the Berkshire hills.  Whatever obscurity may
have hung over Hawthorne hitherto was effectually dissolved by this
powerful tale, which was as vivid in coloring as the implication of its
title.  Hawthorne chose for his background the somber life of the early
settlers in New England.  He had always been drawn toward this part of
American history, and in _Twice Told Tales_ had given some
illustrations of it in _Endicott's Red Cross_ and _Legends of the
Province House_.  Against this dark foil moved in strong relief the
figures of Hester {468} Prynne, the woman taken in adultery, her
paramour, the Rev. Arthur Dimmesdale, her husband, old Roger
Chillingworth, and her illegitimate child.  In tragic power, in its
grasp of the elementary passions of human nature and its deep and
subtle insight into the inmost secrets of the heart, this is
Hawthorne's greatest book.  He never crowded his canvas with figures.
In the _Blithedale Romance_ and the _Marble Faun_ there is the same
_parti carre_ or group of four characters.  In the _House of the Seven
Gables_ there are five.  The last mentioned of these, published in
1852, was of a more subdued intensity than the _Scarlet Letter_, but
equally original and, upon the whole, perhaps equally good.  The
_Blithedale Romance_, published in the same year, though not strikingly
inferior to the others, adhered more to conventional patterns in its
plot and in the sensational nature of its ending.  The suicide of the
heroine by drowning, and the terrible scene of the recovery of her
body, were suggested to the author by an experience of his own on
Concord River, the account of which, in his own words, may be read in
Julian Hawthorne's _Nathaniel Hawthorne and His Wife_.  In 1852
Hawthorne returned to Concord and bought the "Wayside" property, which
he retained until his death.  But in the following year his old college
friend Pierce, now become President, appointed him Consul to Liverpool,
and he went abroad for seven years.  The most valuable fruit of his
foreign residence was the {469} romance of the _Marble Faun_, 1860; the
longest of his fictions and the richest in descriptive beauty.  The
theme of this was the development of the soul through the experience of
sin.  There is a haunting mystery thrown about the story, like a soft
veil of mist, veiling the beginning and the end.  There is even a
delicate teasing suggestion of the preternatural in Donatello, the
Faun, a creation as original as Shakspere's Caliban, or Fouque's
Undine, and yet quite on this side the border-line of the human.  _Our
Old Home_, a book of charming papers on England, was published in 1863.
Manifold experience of life and contact with men, affording scope for
his always keen observation, had added range, fullness, warmth to the
imaginative subtlety which had manifested itself even in his earliest
tales.  Two admirable books for children, the _Wonder Book_ and
_Tanglewood Tales_, in which the classical mythologies were retold;
should also be mentioned in the list of Hawthorne's writings, as well
as the _American_, _English_, and _Italian Note Books_, the first of
which contains the seed thoughts of some of his finished works,
together with hundreds of hints for plots, episodes, descriptions,
etc., which he never found time to work out.  Hawthorne's style, in his
first sketches and stories a little stilted and "bookish," gradually
acquired an exquisite perfection, and is as well worth study as that of
any prose classic in the English tongue.

Hawthorne was no transcendentalist.  He dwelt {470} much in a world of
ideas, and he sometimes doubted whether the tree on the bank or its
image in the stream were the more real.  But this had little in common
with the philosophical idealism of his neighbors.  He reverenced
Emerson, and he held kindly intercourse--albeit a silent man and easily
bored--with Thoreau and Ellery Channing, and even with Margaret Fuller.
But his sharp eyes saw whatever was whimsical or weak in the apostles
of the new faith.  He had little enthusiasm for causes or reforms, and
among so many Abolitionists he remained a Democrat, and even wrote a
campaign life of his friend Pierce.

The village of Concord has perhaps done more for American literature
than the city of New York.  Certainly there are few places where
associations, both patriotic and poetic, cluster so thickly.  At one
side of the grounds of the Old Manse--which has the river at its
back--runs down a shaded lane to the Concord monument and the figure of
the Minute Man and the successor of "the rude bridge that arched the
flood."  Scarce two miles away, among the woods, is little
Walden--"God's drop."  The men who made Concord famous are asleep in
Sleepy Hollow, yet still their memory prevails to draw seekers after
truth to the Concord Summer School of Philosophy, which meets every
year, to reason high of "God, Freedom, and Immortality," next-door to
the "Wayside," and under the hill on whose ridge Hawthorne wore a path,
as he paced up and down beneath the hemlocks.


1. Ralph Waldo Emerson.  Nature.  The American Scholar.  Literary
Ethics.  The Transcendentalist.  The Over-soul.  Address before the
Cambridge Divinity School.  English Traits.  Representative Men.  Poems.

2. Henry David Thoreau.  Excursions.  Walden.  A Week on the Concord
and Merrimac Rivers.  Cape Cod.  The Maine Woods.

3. Nathaniel Hawthorne.  Mosses from an Old Manse.  The Scarlet Letter.
The House of the Seven Gables.  The Blithedale Romance.  The Marble
Faun.  Our Old Home.

4. Transcendentalism in New England.  By O. B. Frothingham.  New York:
G. P. Putnam's Sons.  1875.

[1] The Indian name of Concord River.





With few exceptions, the men who have made American literature what it
is have been college graduates.  And yet our colleges have not commonly
been, in themselves, literary centers.  Most of them have been small
and poor, and situated in little towns or provincial cities.  Their
alumni scatter far and wide immediately after graduation, and even
those of them who may feel drawn to a life of scholarship or letters
find little to attract them at the home of their alma mater, and seek,
by preference, the large cities where periodicals and publishing houses
offer some hope of support in a literary career.  Even in the older and
better equipped universities the faculty is usually a corps of working
scholars, each man intent upon his specialty and rather inclined to
undervalue merely "literary" performance.  In many cases the fastidious
and hypercritical turn of mind which besets the scholar, the timid
conservatism which naturally characterizes an ancient seat of learning
and the spirit of theological conformity which suppresses free
discussion have exerted their {473} benumbing influence upon the
originality and creative impulse of their inmates.  Hence it happens
that, while the contributions of American college teachers to the exact
sciences, to theology and philology, metaphysics, political philosophy
and the severer branches of learning have been honorable and important,
they have as a class made little mark upon the general literature of
the country.  The professors of literature in our colleges are usually
persons who have made no additions to literature, and the professors of
rhetoric seem ordinarily to have been selected to teach students how to
write, for the reason that they themselves have never written any thing
that any one has ever read.

To these remarks the Harvard College of some fifty years ago offers a
striking exception.  It was not the large and fashionable university
that it has lately grown to be, with its multiplied elective courses,
its numerous faculty and its somewhat motley collection of
undergraduates; but a small school of the classics and mathematics,
with something of ethics, natural science and the modern languages
added to its old-fashioned, scholastic curriculum, and with a very
homogeneous _clientele_, drawn mainly from the Unitarian families of
Eastern Massachusetts.  Nevertheless a finer intellectual life, in many
respects, was lived at old Cambridge within the years covered by this
chapter than nowadays at the same place, or at any date in any other
American university town.  The {474} neighborhood of Boston, where the
commercial life has never so entirely overlain the intellectual as in
New York and Philadelphia, has been a standing advantage to Harvard
College.  The recent upheaval in religious thought had secured
toleration, and made possible that free and even audacious interchange
of ideas without which a literary atmosphere is impossible.  From
these, or from whatever causes, it happened that the old Harvard
scholarship had an elegant and tasteful side to it, so that the dry
erudition of the schools blossomed into a generous culture, and there
were men in the professors' chairs who were no less efficient as
teachers because they were also poets, orators, wits and men of the
world.  In the seventeen years from 1821 to 1839 there were graduated
from Harvard College Emerson, Holmes, Sumner, Phillips, Motley,
Thoreau, Lowell, and Edward Everett Hale, some of whom took up their
residence at Cambridge, others at Boston and others at Concord, which
was quite as much a spiritual suburb of Boston as Cambridge was.  In
1836, when Longfellow became Professor of Modern Languages at Harvard,
Sumner was lecturing in the Law School.  The following year--in which
Thoreau took his bachelor's degree--witnessed the delivery of Emerson's
Phi Beta Kappa lecture on the _American Scholar_ in the college chapel
and Wendell Phillips's speech on the _Murder of Lovejoy_ in Faneuil
Hall.  Lowell, whose description of the impression produced by {475}
the former of these famous addresses has been quoted in a previous
chapter, was an undergraduate at the time.  He took his degree in 1838
and in 1855 succeeded Longfellow in the chair of Modern Languages.
Holmes had been chosen in 1847 Professor of Anatomy and Physiology in
the Medical School--a position which he held until 1882.  The
historians, Prescott and Bancroft, had been graduated in 1814 and 1817
respectively.  The former's first important publication, _Ferdinand and
Isabella_, appeared in 1837.  Bancroft had been a tutor in the college
in 1822-23 and the initial volume of his _History of the United States_
was issued in 1835.  Another of the Massachusetts school of historical
writers, Francis Parkman, took his first degree at Harvard in 1844.
Cambridge was still hardly more than a village, a rural outskirt of
Boston, such as Lowell described it in his article, _Cambridge Thirty
Years Ago_, originally contributed to _Putnam's Monthly_ in 1853, and
afterward reprinted in his _Fireside Travels_, 1864.  The situation of
a university scholar in old Cambridge was thus an almost ideal one.
Within easy reach of a great city, with its literary and social clubs,
its theaters, lecture courses, public meetings, dinner parties, etc.,
he yet lived withdrawn in an academic retirement among elm-shaded
avenues and leafy gardens, the dome of the Boston State-house looming
distantly across the meadows where the Charles laid its "steel blue
sickle" upon the variegated, plush-like ground of the wide marsh.
There was {476} thus, at all times during the quarter of a century
embraced between 1837 and 1861, a group of brilliant men resident in or
about Cambridge and Boston, meeting frequently and intimately, and
exerting upon one another a most stimulating influence.  Some of the
closer circles--all concentric to the university--of which this group
was loosely composed were laughed at by outsiders as "Mutual Admiration
Societies."  Such was, for instance, the "Five of Clubs," whose members
were Longfellow, Sumner, C. C. Tellon, Professor of Greek at Harvard,
and afterward president of the college; G. S. Hillard, a graceful
lecturer, essayist and poet, of a somewhat amateurish kind; and Henry
R. Cleveland, of Jamaica Plain, a lover of books and a writer of them.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) the most widely read and loved
of American poets--or indeed, of all contemporary poets in England and
America--though identified with Cambridge for nearly fifty years was a
native of Portland, Maine, and a graduate of Bowdoin College, in the
same class with Hawthorne.  Since leaving college, in 1825, he had
studied and traveled for some years in Europe, and had held the
professorship of modern languages at Bowdoin.  He had published several
text books, a number of articles on the Romance languages and
literatures in the _North American Review_, a thin volume of metrical
translations from the Spanish, a few original poems in various
periodicals, and the pleasant sketches of European {477} travel
entitled _Outre Mer_.  But Longfellow's fame began with the appearance
in 1839 of his _Voices of the Night_.  Excepting an earlier collection
by Bryant this was the first volume of real poetry published in New
England, and it had more warmth and sweetness, a greater richness and
variety than Bryant's work ever possessed.  Longfellow's genius was
almost feminine in its flexibility and its sympathetic quality.  It
readily took the color of its surroundings and opened itself eagerly to
impressions of the beautiful from every quarter, but especially from
books.  This first volume contained a few things written during his
student days at Bowdoin, one of which, a blank verse piece on _Autumn_,
clearly shows the influence of Bryant's _Thanatopsis_.  Most of these
_juvenilia_ had nature for their theme, but they were not so sternly
true to the New England landscape as Thoreau or Bryant.  The skylark
and the ivy appear among their scenic properties, and in the best of
them, _Woods in Winter_, it is the English "hawthorn" and not any
American tree, through which the gale is made to blow, just as later
Longfellow uses "rooks" instead of crows.  The young poet's fancy was
instinctively putting out feelers toward the storied lands of the Old
World, and in his _Hymn of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem_ he
transformed the rude church of the Moravian sisters to a cathedral with
"glimmering tapers," swinging censers, chancel, altar, cowls and "dim
mysterious aisle."  After his visit to Europe, {478} Longfellow
returned deeply imbued with the spirit of romance.  It was his mission
to refine our national taste by opening to American readers, in their
own vernacular, new springs of beauty in the literatures of foreign
tongues.  The fact that this mission was interpretative, rather than
creative, hardly detracts from Longfellow's true originality.  It
merely indicates that his inspiration came to him in the first instance
from other sources than the common life about him.  He naturally began
as a translator, and this first volume contained, among other things,
exquisite renderings from the German of Uhland, Salis, and Mueller, from
the Danish, French, Spanish and Anglo-Saxon, and a few passages from
Dante.  Longfellow remained all his life a translator, and in subtler
ways than by direct translation he infused the fine essence of European
poetry into his own.  He loved--

  "Tales that have the rime of age
    And chronicles of eld."

The golden light of romance is shed upon his page, and it is his habit
to borrow mediaeval and Catholic imagery from his favorite middle ages,
even when writing of American subjects.  To him the clouds are hooded
friars, that "tell their beads in drops of rain;" the midnight winds
blowing through woods and mountain passes are chanting solemn masses
for the repose of the dying year, and the strain ends with the prayer--

  "Kyrie, eleyson,
  Christe, eleyson."

{479} In his journal he wrote characteristically: "The black shadows
lie upon the grass like engravings in a book.  Autumn has written his
rubric on the illuminated leaves, the wind turns them over and chants
like a friar."  This in Cambridge, of a moonshiny night, on the first
day of the American October.  But several of the pieces in _Voices of
the Night_ sprang more immediately from the poet's own inner
experience.  The _Hymn to the Night_, the _Psalm of Life_, the _Reaper
and the Flowers_, _Footsteps of Angels_, the _Light of Stars_, and the
_Beleaguered City_ spoke of love, bereavement, comfort, patience and
faith.  In these lovely songs and in many others of the same kind which
he afterward wrote, Longfellow touched the hearts of all his
countrymen.  America is a country of homes, and Longfellow, as the poet
of sentiment and of the domestic affections, became and remains far
more general in his appeal than such a "cosmic" singer as Whitman, who
is still practically unknown to the "fierce democracy" to which he has
addressed himself.  It would be hard to over-estimate the influence for
good exerted by the tender feeling and the pure and sweet morality
which the hundreds of thousands of copies of Longfellow's writings,
that have been circulated among readers of all classes in America and
England, have brought with them.

Three later collections, _Ballads and Other Poems_, 1842; the _Belfry
of Bruges_, 1846; and the _Seaside and the Fireside_, 1850, comprise
most of what is {480} noteworthy in Longfellow's minor poetry.  The
first of these embraced, together with some renderings from the German
and the Scandinavian languages, specimens of stronger original work
than the author had yet put forth; namely, the two powerful ballads of
the _Skeleton in Armor_ and the _Wreck of the Hesperus_.  The former of
these, written in the swift leaping meter of Drayton's _Ode to the
Cambro Britons on their Harp_, was suggested by the digging up of a
mail-clad skeleton at Fall River--a circumstance which the poet linked
with the traditions about the Round Tower at Newport and gave to the
whole the spirit of a Norse viking song of war and of the sea.  The
_Wreck of the Hesperus_ was occasioned by the news of shipwrecks on the
coast near Gloucester and by the name of a reef--"Norman's Woe"--where
many of them took place.  It was written one night between twelve and
three, and cost the poet, he said, "hardly an effort."  Indeed, it is
the spontaneous ease and grace, the unfailing taste of Longfellow's
lines, which are their best technical quality.  There is nothing
obscure or esoteric about his poetry.  If there is little passion or
intellectual depth, there is always genuine poetic feeling, often a
very high order of imagination and almost invariably the choice of the
right word.  In this volume were also included the _Village Blacksmith_
and _Excelsior_.  The latter, and the _Psalm of Life_, have had a
"damnable iteration" which causes them to figure as Longfellow's most
popular {481} pieces.  They are by no means, however, among his best.
They are vigorously expressed commonplaces of that hortatory kind which
passes for poetry, but is, in reality, a vague species of preaching.

In the _Belfry of Bruges_ and the _Seaside and the Fireside_, the
translations were still kept up, and among the original pieces were the
_Occultation of Orion_--the most imaginative of all Longfellow's poems;
_Seaweed_, which has very noble stanzas, the favorite _Old Clock on the
Stairs_, the _Building of the Ship_, with its magnificent closing
apostrophe to the Union, and the _Fire of Driftwood_, the subtlest in
feeling of any thing that the poet ever wrote.  With these were verses
of a more familiar quality, such as the _Bridge_, _Resignation_, and
the _Day Is Done_, and many others, all reflecting moods of gentle and
pensive sentiment, and drawing from analogies in nature or in legend
lessons which, if somewhat obvious, were expressed with perfect art.
Like Keats, he apprehended every thing on its beautiful side.
Longfellow was all poet.  Like Ophelia in _Hamlet_,

  "Thought and affection, passion, hell itself,
  _He_ turns to favor and to prettiness."

He cared very little about the intellectual movement of the age.  The
transcendental ideas of Emerson passed over his head and left him
undisturbed.  For politics he had that gentlemanly distaste which the
cultivated class in America had {482} already begun to entertain.  In
1842 he printed a small volume of _Poems on Slavery_, which drew
commendation from his friend Sumner, but had nothing of the fervor of
Whittier's or Lowell's utterances on the same subject.  It is
interesting to compare his journals with Hawthorne's _American Note
Books_ and to observe in what very different ways the two writers made
prey of their daily experiences for literary material.  A favorite
haunt of Longfellow's was the bridge between Boston and Cambridgeport,
the same which he put into verse in his poem, the _Bridge_.  "I always
stop on the bridge," he writes in his journal; "tide waters are
beautiful.  From the ocean up into the land they go, like messengers,
to ask why the tribute has not been paid.  The brooks and rivers answer
that there has been little harvest of snow and rain this year.
Floating sea-weed and kelp is carried up into the meadows, as returning
sailors bring oranges in bandanna handkerchiefs to friends in the
country."  And again: "We leaned for awhile on the wooden rail and
enjoyed the silvery reflection on the sea, making sundry comparisons.
Among other thoughts we had this cheering one, that the whole sea was
flashing with this heavenly light, though we saw it only in a single
track; the dark waves are the dark providences of God; luminous, though
not to us; and even to ourselves in another position."  "Walk on the
bridge, both ends of which are lost in the fog, like human life midway
between two eternities; {483} beginning and ending in mist."  In
Hawthorne an allegoric meaning is usually something deeper and subtler
than this, and seldom so openly expressed.  Many of Longfellow's
poems--the _Beleaguered City_, for example--may be definitely divided
into two parts; in the first, a story is told or a natural phenomenon
described; in the second, the spiritual application of the parable is
formally set forth.  This method became with him almost a trick of
style, and his readers learned to look for the _haec fabula docet_ at
the end as a matter of course.  As for the prevailing optimism in
Longfellow's view of life--of which the above passage is an
instance--it seemed to be in him an affair of temperament, and not, as
in Emerson, the result of philosophic insight.  Perhaps, however, in
the last analysis optimism and pessimism are subjective--the expression
of temperament or individual experience, since the facts of life are
the same, whether seen through Schopenhauer's eyes or through
Emerson's.  If there is any particular in which Longfellow's
inspiration came to him at first hand and not through books, it is in
respect to the aspects of the sea.  On this theme no American poet has
written more beautifully and with a keener sympathy than the author of
the _Wreck of the Hesperus_ and of _Seaweed_.

In 1847 was published the long poem of _Evangeline_.  The story of the
Acadian peasant girl, who was separated from her lover in the
dispersion of her people by the English troops, and after weary
wanderings and a life-long search found him at last, {484} an old man
dying in a Philadelphia hospital, was told to Longfellow by the Rev. H.
L. Conolly, who had previously suggested it to Hawthorne as a subject
for a story.  Longfellow, characteristically enough, "got up" the local
color for his poem from Haliburton's account of the dispersion of the
Grand-Pre Acadians, from Darby's _Geographical Description of
Louisiana_ and Watson's _Annals of Philadelphia_.  He never needed to
go much outside of his library for literary impulse and material.
Whatever may be held as to Longfellow's inventive powers as a creator
of characters or an interpreter of American life, his originality as an
artist is manifested by his successful domestication in _Evangeline_ of
the dactylic hexameter, which no English poet had yet used with effect.
The English poet, Arthur Hugh Clough, who lived for a time in
Cambridge, followed Longfellow's example in the use of hexameter in his
_Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich_, so that we have now arrived at the
time--a proud moment for American letters--when the works of our
writers began to react upon the literature of Europe.  But the beauty
of the descriptions in _Evangeline_ and the pathos--somewhat too drawn
out--of the story made it dear to a multitude of readers who cared
nothing about the technical disputes of Poe and other critics as to
whether or not Longfellow's lines were sufficiently "spondaic" to
truthfully represent the quantitative hexameters of Homer and Vergil.

In 1855 appeared _Hiawatha_, Longfellow's most {485} aboriginal and
"American" book.  The tripping trochaic measure he borrowed from the
Finnish epic _Kalevala_.  The vague, childlike mythology of the Indian
tribes, with its anthropomorphic sense of the brotherhood between men,
animals, and the forms of inanimate nature, he took from Schoolcraft's
_Algic Researches_, 1839.  He fixed forever, in a skillfully chosen
poetic form, the more inward and imaginative part of Indian character,
as Cooper had given permanence to its external and active side.  Of
Longfellow's dramatic experiments the _Golden Legend_, 1851, alone
deserves mention here.  This was in his chosen realm; a tale taken from
the ecclesiastical annals of the middle ages, precious with martyrs'
blood and bathed in the rich twilight of the cloister.  It contains
some of his best work, but its merit is rather poetic than dramatic;
although Ruskin praised it for the closeness with which it entered into
the temper of the monk.

Longfellow has pleased the people more than the critics.  He gave
freely what he had, and the gift was beautiful.  Those who have looked
in his poetry for something else than poetry, or for poetry of some
other kind, have not been slow to assert that he was a lady's poet; one
who satisfied callow youths and school-girls by uttering commonplaces
in graceful and musical shape, but who offered no strong meat for men.
Miss Fuller called his poetry thin and the poet himself a "dandy
Pindar."  This is not true of his poetry, {486} or of the best of it.
But he had a singing and not a talking voice, and in his prose one
becomes sensible of a certain weakness.  _Hyperion_, for example,
published in 1839, a loitering fiction, interspersed with descriptions
of European travel, is, upon the whole, a weak book, over flowery in
diction and sentimental in tone.

The crown of Longfellow's achievements as a translator was his great
version of Dante's _Divina Commedia_, published between 1867 and 1870.
It is a severely literal, almost a line for line, rendering.  The meter
is preserved, but the rhyme sacrificed.  If not the best English poem
constructed from Dante, it is at all events the most faithful and
scholarly paraphrase.  The sonnets which accompanied it are among
Longfellow's best work.  He seems to have been raised by daily
communion with the great Tuscan into a habit of deeper and more subtle
thought than is elsewhere common in his poetry.

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809- ) is a native of Cambridge and a graduate
of Harvard in the class of '29; a class whose anniversary reunions he
has celebrated in something like forty distinct poems and songs.  For
sheer cleverness and versatility Dr. Holmes is, perhaps, unrivaled
among American men of letters.  He has been poet, wit, humorist,
novelist, essayist and a college lecturer and writer on medical topics.
In all of these departments he has produced work which ranks high, if
not with the highest.  His father, {487} Dr. Abiel Holmes, was a
graduate of Yale and an orthodox minister of liberal temper, but the
son early threw in his lot with the Unitarians; and, as was natural to
a man of a satiric turn and with a very human enjoyment of a fight,
whose youth was cast in an age of theological controversy, he has
always had his fling at Calvinism and has prolonged the slogans of old
battles into a later generation; sometimes, perhaps, insisting upon
them rather wearisomely and beyond the limits of good taste.  He had,
even as an undergraduate, a reputation for cleverness at writing comic
verses, and many of his good things in this kind, such as the
_Dorchester Giant_ and the _Height of the Ridiculous_, were contributed
to the _Collegian_, a students' paper.  But he first drew the attention
of a wider public by his spirited ballad of _Old Ironsides_--

  "Ay!  Tear her tattered ensign down!"--

composed about 1830, when it was proposed by the government to take to
pieces the unseaworthy hulk of the famous old man-of-war,
"Constitution."  Holmes's indignant protest--which has been a favorite
subject for school-boy declamation--had the effect of postponing the
vessel's fate for a great many years.  From 1830-35 the young poet was
pursuing his medical studies in Boston and Paris, contributing now and
then some verses to the magazines.  Of his life as a medical student in
Paris there are many pleasant reminiscences in his _Autocrat_ and other
writings, as where he tells, for {488} instance, of a dinner party of
Americans in the French capital, where one of the company brought tears
of home-sickness into the eyes of his _sodales_ by saying that the
tinkle of the ice in the champagne-glasses reminded him of the cowbells
in the rocky old pastures of New England.  In 1836 he printed his first
collection of poems.  The volume contained among a number of pieces
broadly comic, like the _September Gale_, the _Music Grinders_, and the
_Ballad of the Oysterman_--which at once became widely popular--a few
poems of a finer and quieter temper, in which there was a quaint
blending of the humorous and the pathetic.  Such were _My Aunt_ and the
_Last Leaf_--which Abraham Lincoln found "inexpressibly touching," and
which it is difficult to read without the double tribute of a smile and
a tear.  The volume contained also _Poetry: A Metrical Essay_, read
before the Harvard Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, which was the
first of that long line of capital occasional poems which Holmes has
been spinning for half a century with no sign of fatigue and with
scarcely any falling off in freshness; poems read or spoken or sung at
all manner of gatherings, public and private; at Harvard commencements,
class days, and other academic anniversaries; at inaugurations,
centennials, dedications of cemeteries, meetings of medical
associations, mercantile libraries, Burns clubs and New England
societies; at rural festivals and city fairs; openings of theaters,
layings of corner stones, {489} birthday celebrations, jubilees,
funerals, commemoration services, dinners of welcome or farewell to
Dickens, Bryant, Everett, Whittier, Longfellow, Grant, Farragut, the
Grand Duke Alexis, the Chinese Embassy and what not.  Probably no poet
of any age or clime has written so much and so well to order.  He has
been particularly happy in verses of a convivial kind, toasts for big
civic feasts, or post-prandial rhymes for the _petit comite_--the snug
little dinners of the chosen few.  His

  "The quaint trick to cram the pithy line
  That cracks so crisply over bubbling wine."

And although he could write on occasion a _Song for a Temperance
Dinner_, he has preferred to chant the praise of the punch bowl and to

    "feel the old convivial glow (unaided) o'er me stealing,
  The warm, champagny, old-particular-brandy-punchy feeling."

It would be impossible to enumerate the many good things of this sort
which Holmes has written, full of wit and wisdom, and of humor lightly
dashed with sentiment and sparkling with droll analogies, sudden puns,
and unexpected turns of rhyme and phrase.  Among the best of them are
_Nux Postcoenatica_, _A Modest Request_, _Ode for a Social Meeting_,
_The Boys_, and _Rip Van Winkle, M.D._  Holmes's favorite measure, in
his longer poems, is the heroic couplet which Pope's example seems to
have consecrated forever to satiric and didactic verse.  He writes as
easily in this {490} meter as if it were prose, and with much of Pope's
epigrammatic neatness.  He also manages with facility the anapaestics
of Moore and the ballad stanza which Hood had made the vehicle for his
drolleries.  It cannot be expected that verses manufactured to pop with
the corks and fizz with the champagne at academic banquets should much
outlive the occasion; or that the habit of producing such verses on
demand should foster in the producer that "high seriousness" which
Matthew Arnold asserts to be one mark of all great poetry.  Holmes's
poetry is mostly on the colloquial level, excellent society-verse, but
even in its serious moments too smart and too pretty to be taken very
gravely; with a certain glitter, knowingness and flippancy about it and
an absence of that self-forgetfulness and intense absorption in its
theme which characterize the work of the higher imagination.  This is
rather the product of fancy and wit.  Wit, indeed, in the old sense of
quickness in the perception of analogies is the staple of his mind.
His resources in the way of figure, illustration, allusion and anecdote
are wonderful.  Age cannot wither him nor custom stale his infinite
variety, and there is as much powder in his latest pyrotechnics as in
the rockets which he sent up half a century ago.  Yet, though the
humorist in him rather outweighs the poet, he has written a few things,
like the _Chambered Nautilus_ and _Homesick in Heaven_, which are as
purely and deeply poetic as the _One-Hoss Shay_ and the _Prologue_ are
funny.  {491} Dr. Holmes is not of the stuff of which idealists and
enthusiasts are made.  As a physician and a student of science, the
facts of the material universe have counted for much with him.  His
clear, positive, alert intellect was always impatient of mysticism.  He
had the sharp eye of the satirist and the man of the world for oddities
of dress, dialect and manners.  Naturally the transcendental movement
struck him on its ludicrous side, and in his _After-Dinner Poem_, read
at the Phi Beta Kappa dinner at Cambridge in 1843, he had his laugh at
the "Orphic odes" and "runes" of the bedlamite seer and bard of mystery

  "Who rides a beetle which he calls a 'sphinx,'
  And O what questions asked in club-foot rhyme
  Of Earth the tongueless, and the deaf-mute Time!
  Here babbling 'Insight' shouts in Nature's ears
  His last conundrum on the orbs and spheres;
  There Self-inspection sucks its little thumb,
  With 'Whence am I?' and 'Wherefore did I come?'"

Curiously enough, the author of these lines lived to write an
appreciative life of the poet who wrote the _Sphinx_.  There was a good
deal of toryism or social conservatism in Holmes.  He acknowledged a
preference for the man with a pedigree, the man who owned family
portraits, had been brought up in familiarity with books, and could
pronounce "view" correctly.  Readers unhappily not of the "Brahmin
caste of New England" have sometimes resented as snobbishness Holmes's
harping {492} on "family," and his perpetual application of certain
favorite shibboleths to other people's ways of speech.  "The woman who
calc'lates is lost."

  "Learning condemns beyond the reach of hope
  The careless lips that speak of soap for soap. . . .
  Do put your accents in the proper spot;
  Don't, let me beg you, don't say 'How?' for 'What?'
  The things named 'pants' in certain documents,
  A word not made for gentlemen, but 'gents.'"

With the rest of "society" he was disposed to ridicule the abolition
movement as a crotchet of the eccentric and the long-haired.  But when
the civil war broke out he lent his pen, his tongue, and his own flesh
and blood to the cause of the Union.  The individuality of Holmes's
writings comes in part from their local and provincial bias.  He has
been the laureate of Harvard College and the bard of Boston city, an
urban poet, with a cockneyish fondness for old Boston ways and
things--the Common and the Frog Pond, Faneuil Hall and King's Chapel
and the Old South, Bunker Hill, Long Wharf, the Tea Party, and the town
crier.  It was Holmes who invented the playful saying that "Boston
State House is the hub of the solar system."

In 1857 was started the _Atlantic Monthly_, a magazine which has
published a good share of the best work done by American writers within
the past thirty years.  Its immediate success was assured by Dr.
Holmes's brilliant series of papers, the {493} _Autocrat of the
Breakfast Table_, 1858, followed at once by the _Professor at the
Breakfast Table_, 1859, and later by the _Poet at the Breakfast Table_,
1873.  The _Autocrat_ is its author's masterpiece, and holds the fine
quintessence of his humor, his scholarship, his satire, genial
observation, and ripe experience of men and cities.  The form is as
unique and original as the contents, being something between an essay
and a drama; a succession of monologues or table-talks at a typical
American boarding-house, with a thread of story running through the
whole.  The variety of mood and thought is so great that these
conversations never tire, and the prose is interspersed with some of
the author's choicest verse.  The _Professor at the Breakfast Table_
followed too closely on the heels of the _Autocrat_, and had less
freshness.  The third number of the series was better, and was
pleasantly reminiscent and slightly garrulous, Dr. Holmes being now
(1873) sixty-four years old, and entitled to the gossiping privilege of
age.  The _personnel_ of the _Breakfast Table_ series, such as the
landlady and the landlady's daughter and her son, Benjamin Franklin;
the schoolmistress, the young man named John, the Divinity Student, the
Kohinoor, the Sculpin, the Scarabaeus and the Old Gentleman who sits
opposite, are not fully drawn characters, but outlined figures, lightly
sketched--as is the Autocrat's wont--by means of some trick of speech,
or dress, or feature, but they are quite life-like enough for their
purpose, which is mainly to {494} furnish listeners and foils to the
eloquence and wit of the chief talker.

In 1860 and 1867 Holmes entered the field of fiction with two
"medicated novels," _Elsie Venner_ and the _Guardian Angel_.  The first
of these was a singular tale, whose heroine united with her very
fascinating human attributes something of the nature of a serpent; her
mother having been bitten by a rattlesnake a few months before the
birth of the girl, and kept alive meanwhile by the use of powerful
antidotes.  The heroine of the _Guardian Angel_ inherited lawless
instincts from a vein of Indian blood in her ancestry.  These two books
were studies of certain medico-psychological problems.  They preached
Dr. Holmes's favorite doctrines of heredity and of the modified nature
of moral responsibility by reason of transmitted tendencies which limit
the freedom of the will.  In _Elsie Venner_, in particular, the weirdly
imaginative and speculative character of the leading motive suggests
Hawthorne's method in fiction, but the background and the subsidiary
figures have a realism that is in abrupt contrast with this, and gives
a kind of doubleness and want of keeping to the whole.  The Yankee
characters, in particular, and the satirical pictures of New England
country life are open to the charge of caricature.  In the _Guardian
Angel_ the figure of Byles Gridley, the old scholar, is drawn with
thorough sympathy, and though some of his acts are improbable he is, on
the whole, Holmes's most {495} vital conception in the region of
dramatic creation.

James Russell Lowell (1819- ), the foremost of American critics and of
living American poets is, like Holmes, a native of Cambridge, and, like
Emerson and Holmes, a clergyman's son.  In 1855 he succeeded Longfellow
as Professor of Modern Languages in Harvard College.  Of late years he
has held important diplomatic posts, like Everett, Irving, Bancroft,
Motley, and other Americans distinguished in letters, having been
United States Minister to Spain, and, under two administrations, to the
Court of St. James.  Lowell is not so spontaneously and exclusively a
poet as Longfellow.  His fame has been of slower growth, and his
popularity with the average reader has never been so great.  His appeal
has been to the few rather than the many, to an audience of scholars
and of the judicious rather than to the "groundlings" of the general
public.  Nevertheless his verse, though without the evenness,
instinctive grace, and unerring good taste of Longfellow's, has more
energy and a stronger intellectual fiber; while in prose he is very
greatly the superior.  His first volume, _A Year's Life_, 1841, gave
little promise.  In 1843 he started a magazine, the _Pioneer_, which
only reached its third number, though it counted among its contributors
Hawthorne, Poe, Whittier, and Miss Barrett (afterward Mrs. Browning).
A second volume of poems, printed in 1844, showed a distinct advance,
in such {496} pieces as the _Shepherd of King Admetus_, _Rhoecus_, a
classical myth, told in excellent blank verse, and the same in subject
with one of Landor's polished intaglios; and the _Legend of Britanny_,
a narrative poem, which had fine passages, but no firmness in the
management of the story.  As yet, it was evident, the young poet had
not found his theme.  This came with the outbreak of the Mexican War,
which was unpopular in New England, and which the Free Soil party
regarded as a slaveholders' war waged without provocation against a
sister republic, and simply for the purpose of extending the area of

In 1846, accordingly, the _Biglow Papers_ began to appear in the
_Boston Courier_, and were collected and published in book form in
1848.  These were a series of rhymed satires upon the government and
the war party, written in the Yankee dialect, and supposed to be the
work of Hosea Biglow, a home-spun genius in a down-east country town,
whose letters to the editor were indorsed and accompanied by the
comments of the Rev. Homer Wilbur, A.M., pastor of the First Church in
Jaalam, and (prospective) member of many learned societies.  The first
paper was a derisive address to a recruiting sergeant, with a
denunciation of the "nigger-drivin' States" and the "northern
dough-faces," a plain hint that the North would do better to secede
than to continue doing dirty work for the South, and an expression of
those universal peace doctrines which were then in the air, and to
which {497} Longfellow gave serious utterance in his _Occultation of

  "Ez for war, I call it murder--
    There you hev it plain an' flat:
  I don't want to go no furder
    Than my Testyment for that;
  God hez said so plump an' fairly,
    It's ez long as it is broad,
  An' you've gut to git up airly
    Ef you want to take in God."

The second number was a versified paraphrase of a letter received from
Mr. Birdofredom Sawin, "a yung feller of our town that wuz cussed fool
enuff to goe atrottin inter Miss Chiff arter a drum and fife," and who
finds when he gets to Mexico that

  "This kind o' sogerin' aint a mite like our October trainin'."

Of the subsequent papers the best was, perhaps, _What Mr. Robinson
Thinks_, an election ballad, which caused universal laughter, and was
on every body's tongue.

The _Biglow Papers_ remain Lowell's most original contribution to
American literature.  They are, all in all, the best political satires
in the language, and unequaled as portraitures of the Yankee character,
with its 'cuteness, its homely wit, and its latent poetry.  Under the
racy humor of the dialect--which became in Lowell's hands a medium of
literary expression almost as effective as {498} Burns's Ayrshire
Scotch--burned that moral enthusiasm and that hatred of wrong and
deification of duty--"Stern daughter of the voice of God"--which, in
the tough New England stock, stands instead of the passion in the blood
of southern races.  Lowell's serious poems on political questions, such
as the _Present Crisis_, _Ode to Freedom_, and the _Capture of Fugitive
Slaves_, have the old Puritan fervor, and such lines as

  "They are slaves who dare not be
  In the right with two or three,"

and the passage beginning

  "Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,"

became watchwords in the conflict against slavery and disunion.  Some
of these were published in his volume of 1848 and the collected edition
of his poems, in two volumes, issued in 1850.  These also included his
most ambitious narrative poem, the _Vision of Sir Launfal_, an
allegorical and spiritual treatment of one of the legends of the Holy
Grail.  Lowell's genius was not epical, but lyric and didactic.  The
merit of _Sir Launfal_ is not in the telling of the story, but in the
beautiful descriptive episodes, one of which, commencing,

  "And what is so rare as a day in June?
    Then if ever come perfect days;"

is as current as any thing that he has written.  It is significant of
the lack of a natural impulse {499} toward narrative invention in
Lowell, that, unlike Longfellow and Holmes, he never tried his hand at
a novel.  One of the most important parts of a novelist's equipment he
certainly possesses; namely, an insight into character, and an ability
to delineate it.  This gift is seen especially in his sketch of Parson
Wilbur, who edited the _Biglow Papers_ with a delightfully pedantic
introduction, glossary, and notes; in the prose essay _On a Certain
Condescension in Foreigners_, and in the uncompleted poem, _Fitz-Adam's
Story_.  See also the sketch of Captain Underhill in the essay on _New
England Two Centuries Ago_.

The _Biglow Papers_ when brought out in a volume were prefaced by
imaginary notices of the press, including a capital parody of Carlyle,
and a reprint from the "Jaalam Independent Blunderbuss," of the first
sketch--afterward amplified and enriched--of that perfect Yankee idyl,
the _Courtin'_.  Between 1862 and 1865 a second series of _Biglow
Papers_ appeared, called out by the events of the civil war.  Some of
these, as, for instance, _Jonathan to John_, a remonstrance with
England for her unfriendly attitude toward the North, were not inferior
to any thing in the earlier series; and others were even superior as
poems, equal indeed, in pathos and intensity to any thing that Lowell
has written in his professedly serious verse.  In such passages the
dialect wears rather thin, and there is a certain incongruity between
the rustic spelling and the vivid beauty and power {500} and the
figurative cast of the phrase in stanzas like the following:

  "Wut's words to them whose faith an' truth
    On war's red techstone rang true metal,
  Who ventered life an' love an' youth
    For the gret prize o' death in battle?
  To him who, deadly hurt, agen
    Flashed on afore the charge's thunder,
  Tippin' with fire the bolt of men
    That rived the rebel line asunder?"

Charles Sumner, a somewhat heavy person, with little sense of humor,
wished that the author of the _Biglow Papers_ "could have used good
English."  In the lines just quoted, indeed, the bad English adds
nothing to the effect.  In 1848 Lowell wrote _A Fable for Critics_,
something after the style of Sir John Suckling's _Session of the
Poets_; a piece of rollicking doggerel in which he surveyed the
American Parnassus, scattering about headlong fun, sharp satire and
sound criticism in equal proportion.  Never an industrious workman,
like Longfellow, at the poetic craft, but preferring to wait for the
mood to seize him, he allowed eighteen years to go by, from 1850 to
1868, before publishing another volume of verse.  In the latter year
appeared _Under the Willows_, which contains some of his ripest and
most perfect work; notably _A Winter Evening Hymn to my Fire_, with its
noble and touching close--suggested by, perhaps, at any rate recalling,
the dedication of Goethe's _Faust_,

  "Ihr naht euch wieder, schwankende Gestalten;"

{501} the subtle _Footpath_ and _In the Twilight_, the lovely little
poems _Auf Wiedersehen_ and _After the Funeral_, and a number of
spirited political pieces, such as _Villa Franca_, and the _Washers of
the Shroud_.  This volume contained also his _Ode Recited at the
Harvard Commemoration_ in 1865.  This, although uneven, is one of the
finest occasional poems in the language, and the most important
contribution which our civil war has made to song.  It was charged with
the grave emotion of one who not only shared the patriotic grief and
exultation of his _alma mater_ in the sacrifice of her sons, but who
felt a more personal sorrow in the loss of kindred of his own, fallen
in the front of battle.  Particularly noteworthy in this memorial ode
are the tribute to Abraham Lincoln, the third strophe, beginning, "Many
loved Truth:" the exordium--"O Beautiful! my Country! ours once more!"
and the close of the eighth strophe, where the poet chants of the
youthful heroes who

        "Come transfigured back,
  Secure from change in their high-hearted ways,
  Beautiful evermore and with the rays
  Of morn on their white Shields of Expectation."

From 1857 to 1862 Lowell edited the _Atlantic Monthly_, and from 1863
to 1872 the _North American Review_.  His prose, beginning with an
early volume of _Conversations on Some of the Old Poets_, 1844, has
consisted mainly of critical essays on individual writers, such as
Dante, Chaucer, Spenser, {502} Emerson, Shakespere, Thoreau, Pope,
Carlyle, etc., together with papers of a more miscellaneous kind, like
_Witchcraft_, _New England Two Centuries Ago_, _My Garden
Acquaintance_, _A Good Word for Winter_, _Abraham Lincoln_, etc., etc.
Two volumes of these were published in 1870 and 1876, under the title
_Among My Books_, and another, _My Study Windows_, in 1871.  As a
literary critic Lowell ranks easily among the first  of living writers.
His scholarship is thorough, his judgment sure, and he pours out upon
his page an unwithholding wealth of knowledge, humor, wit and
imagination from the fullness of an overflowing mind.  His prose has
not the chastened correctness and "low tone" of Matthew Arnold's.  It
is rich, exuberant, and sometimes over fanciful, running away into
excesses of allusion or following the lead of a chance pun so as
sometimes to lay itself open to the charge of pedantry and bad taste.
Lowell's resources in the way of illustration and comparison are
endless, and the readiness of his wit and his delight in using it put
many temptations in his way.  Purists in style accordingly take offense
at his saying that "Milton is the only man who ever got much poetry out
of a cataract, and that was a cataract in his eye;" or of his speaking
of "a gentleman for whom the bottle before him reversed the wonder of
the stereoscope and substituted the Gaston _v_ for the _b_ in
binocular," which is certainly a puzzling and roundabout fashion of
telling us that he had drunk so much {503} that he saw double.  The
critics also find fault with his coining such words as "undisprivacied"
and with his writing such lines as the famous one--from the
_Cathedral_, 1870--

 "Spume-sliding down the baffled decuman."

It must be acknowledged that his style lacks the crowning grace of
simplicity, but it is precisely by reason of its allusive quality that
scholarly readers take pleasure in it.  They like a diction that has
stuff in it and is woven thick, and where a thing is said in such a way
as to recall many other things.

Mention should be made, in connection with this Cambridge circle, of
one writer who touched its circumference briefly.  This was Sylvester
Judd, a graduate of Yale, who entered the Harvard Divinity School in
1837 and in 1840 became minister of a Unitarian church in Augusta,
Maine.  Judd published several books, but the only one of them at all
rememberable was _Margaret_, 1845, a novel of which Lowell said in _A
Fable for Critics_ that it was "the first Yankee book with the soul of
Down East in it."  It was very imperfect in point of art, and its
second part--a rhapsodical description of a sort of Unitarian
Utopia--is quite unreadable.  But in the delineation of the few chief
characters and of the rude, wild life of an outlying New England
township just after the close of the revolutionary war, as well as in
the tragic power of the catastrophe, there was genius of a high order.


As the country has grown older and more populous, and works in all
departments of thought have multiplied, it becomes necessary to draw
more strictly the line between the literature of knowledge and the
literature of power.  Political history, in and of itself, scarcely
falls within the limits of this sketch, and yet it cannot be altogether
dismissed; for the historian's art at its highest demands imagination,
narrative skill, and a sense of unity and proportion in the selection
and arrangement of his facts, all of which are literary qualities.  It
is significant that many of our best historians have begun authorship
in the domain of imaginative literature: Bancroft with an early volume
of poems; Motley with his historical romances _Merry Mount_ and
_Morton's Hope_; and Parkman with a novel, _Vassall Morton_.  The
oldest of that modern group of writers that have given America an
honorable position in the historical literature of the world was
William Hickling Prescott (1796-1859.)  Prescott chose for his theme
the history of the Spanish conquests in the New World, a subject full
of romantic incident and susceptible of that glowing and perhaps
slightly over gorgeous coloring which he laid on with a liberal hand.
His completed histories, in their order, are the _Reign of Ferdinand
and Isabella_, 1837; the _Conquest of Mexico_, 1843--a topic which
Irving had relinquished to him; and the _Conquest of Peru_, 1847.
Prescott was fortunate in being born to leisure and fortune, but he had
difficulties of {505} another kind to overcome.  He was nearly blind,
and had to teach himself Spanish and look up authorities through the
help of others and to write with a noctograph or by amanuenses.

George Bancroft (1800- ) issued the first volume of his great _History
of the United States_ in 1834, and exactly half a century later the
final volume of the work, bringing the subject down to 1789.  Bancroft
had studied at Goettingen and imbibed from the German historian Heeren
the scientific method of historical study.  He had access to original
sources, in the nature of collections and state papers in the
governmental archives of Europe, of which no American had hitherto been
able to avail himself.  His history in thoroughness of treatment leaves
nothing to be desired, and has become the standard authority on the
subject.  As a literary performance merely, it is somewhat wanting in
flavor, Bancroft's manner being heavy and stiff when compared with
Motley's or Parkman's.  The historian's services to his country have
been publicly recognized by his successive appointments as Secretary of
the Navy, Minister to England, and Minister to Germany.

The greatest, on the whole, of American historians was John Lothrop
Motley (1814-1877), who, like Bancroft, was a student at Goettingen and
United States Minister to England.  His _Rise of the Dutch Republic_,
1856, and _History of the United Netherlands_, published in
installments from 1861 to {506} 1868, equaled Bancroft's work in
scientific thoroughness and philosophic grasp, and Prescott's in the
picturesque brilliancy of the narrative, while it excelled them both in
its masterly analysis of great historic characters, reminding the
reader, in this particular, of Macaulay's figure painting.  The
episodes of the siege of Antwerp and the sack of the cathedral, and of
the defeat and wreck of the Spanish Armada, are as graphic as
Prescott's famous description of Cortez's capture of the city of
Mexico; while the elder historian has nothing to compare with Motley's
vivid personal sketches of Queen Elizabeth, Philip the Second, Henry of
Navarre, and William the Silent.  The _Life of John of Barneveld_,
1874, completed this series of studies upon the history of the
Netherlands, a theme to which Motley was attracted because the heroic
struggle of the Dutch for liberty offered, in some respects, a parallel
to the growth of political independence in Anglo-Saxon communities, and
especially in his own America.

The last of these Massachusetts historical writers whom we shall
mention is Francis Parkman (1823- ), whose subject has the advantage of
being thoroughly American.  His _Oregon Trail_, 1847, a series of
sketches of prairie and Rocky Mountain life, originally contributed to
the _Knickerbocker Magazine_, displays his early interest in the
American Indians.  In 1851 appeared his first historical work, the
_Conspiracy of Pontiac_.  This has been followed by the series entitled
_France and England {507} in North America_, the six successive parts
of which are as follows: the _Pioneers of France in the New World_; the
_Jesuits in North America_; _La Salle and the Discovery of the Great
West_; the _Old Regime in Canada_; _Count Frontenac and New France_;
and _Montcalm and Wolfe_.  These narratives have a wonderful vividness,
and a romantic interest not inferior to Cooper's novels.  Parkman made
himself personally familiar with the scenes which he described, and
some of the best descriptions of American woods and waters are to be
found in his histories.  If any fault is to be found with his books,
indeed, it is that their picturesqueness and "fine writing" are a
little in excess.

The political literature of the years from 1837 to 1861 hinged upon the
antislavery struggle.  In this "irrepressible conflict" Massachusetts
led the van.  Garrison had written in his _Liberator_, in 1830, "I will
be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice.  I am in
earnest; I will not equivocate; I will not excuse; I will not retreat a
single inch; and I will be heard."  But the Garrisonian abolitionists
remained for a long time, even in the North, a small and despised
faction.  It was a great point gained when men of education and social
standing like Wendell Phillips (1811-1884), and Charles Sumner
(1811-1874), joined themselves to the cause.  Both of these were
graduates of Harvard and men of scholarly pursuits.  They became the
representative orators of the antislavery party, Phillips on the
platform {508} and Sumner in the Senate.  The former first came before
the public in his fiery speech, delivered in Faneuil Hall December 8,
1837, before a meeting called to denounce the murder of Lovejoy, who
had been killed at Alton, Ill., while defending his press against a
pro-slavery mob.  Thenceforth Phillips's voice was never idle in behalf
of the slave.  His eloquence was impassioned and direct, and his
English singularly pure, simple, and nervous.  He is perhaps nearer to
Demosthenes than any other American orator.  He was a most fascinating
platform speaker on themes outside of politics, and his lecture on the
_Lost Arts_ was a favorite with audiences of all sorts.

Sumner was a man of intellectual tastes, who entered politics
reluctantly, and only in obedience to the resistless leading of his
conscience.  He was a student of literature and art; a connoisseur of
engravings, for example, of which he made a valuable collection.  He
was fond of books, conversation, and foreign travel, and in Europe,
while still a young man, had made a remarkable impression in society.
But he left all this for public life, and in 1851 was elected, as
Webster's successor, to the Senate of the United States.  Thereafter he
remained the leader of the Abolitionists in Congress until slavery was
abolished.  His influence throughout the North was greatly increased by
the brutal attack upon him in the Senate chamber in 1856 by "Bully
Brooks" of South Carolina.  {509} Sumner's oratory was stately and
somewhat labored.  While speaking he always seemed, as has been wittily
said, to be surveying a "broad landscape of his own convictions."  His
most impressive qualities as a speaker were his intense moral
earnestness and his thorough knowledge of his subject.  The most
telling of his parliamentary speeches are perhaps his speech _On the
Kansas-Nebraska Bill_, of February 3, 1854, and _On the Crime against
Kansas_, May 19 and 20, 1856; of his platform addresses, the oration on
the _True Grandeur of Nations_.

1. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  Voices of the Night.  The Skeleton in
Armor.  The Wreck of the Hesperus.  The Village Blacksmith.  The Belfry
of Bruges and Other Poems (1846).  By the Seaside.  Hiawatha.  Tales of
a Wayside Inn.

2. Oliver Wendell Holmes.  Autocrat of the Breakfast Table.  Elsie
Venner.  Old Ironsides.  The Last Leaf.  My Aunt.  The Music-Grinders.
On Lending a Punch Bowl.  Nux Postcoenatica.  A Modest Request.  The
Living Temple.  Meeting of the Alumni of Harvard College.  Homesick in
Heaven.  Epilogue to the Breakfast Table Series.  The Boys.  Dorothy.
The Iron Gate.

3. James Russell Lowell.  The Biglow Papers (two series).  Under the
Willows and Other Poems.  1868.  Rhoecus.  The Shepherd of King
Admetus.  The Vision of Sir Launfal.  The {510} Present Crisis.  The
Dandelion.  The Birch Tree.  Beaver Brook.  Essays on Chaucer:
Shakspere Once More: Dryden: Emerson; the Lecturer: Thoreau: My Garden
Acquaintance: A Good Word for Winter: A Certain Condescension in

4. William Hickling Prescott.  The Conquest of Mexico.

5. John Lothrop Motley.  The United Netherlands.

6. Francis Parkman.  The Oregon Trail.  The Jesuits in North America.

7. Representative American Orations; volume v.  Edited by Alexander
Johnston.  New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons.  1884.





Literature as a profession has hardly existed in the United States
until very recently.  Even now the number of those who support
themselves by purely literary work is small, although the growth of the
reading public and the establishment of great magazines, such as
_Harper's_, the _Century_, and the _Atlantic_, have made a market for
intellectual wares which forty years ago would have seemed a godsend to
poorly paid Bohemians like Poe or obscure men of genius like Hawthorne.
About 1840 two Philadelphia magazines--_Godey's Lady's Book_ and
_Graham's Monthly_--began to pay their contributors twelve dollars a
page, a price then thought wildly munificent.  But the first magazine
of the modern type was _Harper's Monthly_, founded in 1850.  American
books have always suffered, and still continue to suffer, from the want
of an international copyright, which has flooded the country with cheap
reprints and translations of foreign works, with which the domestic
product has been unable to contend on such uneven terms.  With the
first ocean steamers there {512} started up a class of large-paged
weeklies in New York and elsewhere, such as _Brother Jonathan_, the
_New World_, and the _Corsair_, which furnished their readers with the
freshest writings of Dickens and Bulwer and other British celebrities
within a fortnight after their appearance in London.  This still
further restricted the profits of native authors and nearly drove them
from the field of periodical literature.  By special arrangement the
novels of Thackeray and other English writers were printed in
_Harper's_ in installments simultaneously with their issue in English
periodicals.  The _Atlantic_ was the first of our magazines which was
founded expressly for the encouragement of home talent, and which had a
purely Yankee flavor.  Journalism was the profession which naturally
attracted men of letters, as having most in common with their chosen
work and as giving them a medium, under their own control, through
which they could address the public.  A few favored scholars, like
Prescott, were made independent by the possession of private fortunes.
Others, like Holmes, Longfellow, and Lowell, gave to literature such
leisure as they could get in the intervals of an active profession or
of college work.  Still others, like Emerson and Thoreau, by living in
the country and making their modest competence--eked out in Emerson's
case by lecturing here and there--suffice for their simple needs,
secured themselves freedom from the restraints of any regular calling.
But in default of some such _pou sto_ our men of {513} letters have
usually sought the cities and allied themselves with the press.  It
will be remembered that Lowell started a short-lived magazine on his
own account, and that he afterward edited the _Atlantic_ and the _North
American_.  Also that Ripley and Charles A. Dana betook themselves to
journalism after the break up of the Brook Farm Community.

In the same way William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878), the earliest
American poet of importance, whose impulses drew him to the solitudes
of nature, was compelled to gain a livelihood by conducting a daily
newspaper; or, as he himself puts it, was

  "Forced to drudge for the dregs of men,
  And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen."

Bryant was born at Cummington, in Berkshire, the westernmost county of
Massachusetts.  After two years in Williams College he studied law, and
practiced for nine years as a country lawyer in Plainfield and Great
Barrington.  Following the line of the Housatonic Valley, the social
and theological affiliations of Berkshire have always been closer with
Connecticut and New York than with Boston and Eastern Massachusetts.
Accordingly, when, in 1825, Bryant yielded to the attractions of a
literary career, he betook himself to New York city, where, after a
brief experiment in conducting a monthly magazine, the _New York Review
and Athenaeum_, he assumed the editorship of the {514} _Evening Post_,
a Democratic and Free-trade journal, with which he remained connected
till his death.  He already had a reputation as a poet when he entered
the ranks of metropolitan journalism.  In 1816 his _Thanatopsis_ had
been published in the _North American Review_, and had attracted
immediate and general admiration.  It had been finished, indeed, two
years before, when the poet was only in his nineteenth year, and was a
wonderful instance of precocity.  The thought in this stately hymn was
not that of a young man, but of a sage who has reflected long upon the
universality, the necessity, and the majesty of death.  Bryant's blank
verse when at its best, as in _Thanatopsis_ and the _Forest Hymn_, is
extremely noble.  In gravity and dignity it is surpassed by no English
blank verse of this century, though in rich and various modulation it
falls below Tennyson's _Ulysses_ and _Morte d'Arthur_.  It was
characteristic of Bryant's limitations that he came thus early into
possession of his faculty.  His range was always a narrow one, and
about his poetry, as a whole, there is a certain coldness, rigidity,
and solemnity.  His fixed position among American poets is described in
his own _Hymn to the North Star_:

  "And thou dost see them rise,
    Star of the pole! and thou dost see them set.
  Alone, in thy cold skies,
    Thou keep'st thy old, unmoving station yet,
  Nor join'st the dances of that glittering train,
  Nor dipp'st thy virgin orb in the blue western main."


In 1821 he read the _Ages_, a didactic poem in thirty-five stanzas,
before the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Cambridge, and in the same year
brought out his first volume of poems.  A second collection appeared in
1832, which was printed in London under the auspices of Washington
Irving.  Bryant was the first American poet who had much of an audience
in England, and Wordsworth is said to have learned _Thanatopsis_ by
heart.  Bryant was, indeed, in a measure, a scholar of Wordsworth's
school, and his place among American poets corresponds roughly, though
not precisely, to Wordsworth's among English poets.  With no humor,
with somewhat restricted sympathies, with little flexibility or
openness to new impressions, but gifted with a high, austere
imagination, Bryant became the meditative poet of nature.  His best
poems are those in which he draws lessons from nature, or sings of its
calming, purifying, and bracing influences upon the human soul.  His
office, in other words, is the same which Matthew Arnold asserts to be
the peculiar office of modern poetry, "the moral interpretation of
nature."  Poems of this class are _Green River_, _To a Waterfowl_,
_June_, the _Death of the Flowers_, and the _Evening Wind_.  The song,
"O fairest of the Rural Maids," which has more fancy than is common in
Bryant, and which Poe pronounced his best poem, has an obvious
resemblance to Wordsworth's "Three years she grew in sun and shade,"
and both of these nameless pieces might fitly be {516} entitled--as
Wordsworth's is in Mr. Palgrave's _Golden Treasury_--"The Education of

Although Bryant's career is identified with New York, his poetry is all
of New England.  His heart was always turning back fondly to the woods
and streams of the Berkshire hills.  There was nothing of that urban
strain in him which appears in Holmes and Willis.  He was, in especial,
the poet of autumn, of the American October and the New England Indian
Summer, that season of "dropping nuts" and "smoky light," to whose
subtle analogy with the decay of the young by the New England disease,
consumption, he gave such tender expression in the _Death of the
Flowers_; and amid whose "bright, late quiet," he wished himself to
pass away.  Bryant is our poet of "the melancholy days," as Lowell is
of June.  If, by chance, he touches upon June, it is not with the
exultant gladness of Lowell in meadows full of bobolinks, and in the
summer day that is

    "--simply perfect from its own resource
  As to the bee the new campanula's
  Illuminate seclusion swung in air."

Rather, the stir of new life in the clod suggests to Bryant by contrast
the thought of death; and there is nowhere in his poetry a passage of
deeper feeling than the closing stanzas of _June_, in which he speaks
of himself, by anticipation, as of one

  "Whose part in all the pomp that fills
  The circuit of the summer hills
  Is--that his grave is green."

{517} Bryant is, _par excellence_, the poet of New England wild
flowers, the yellow violet, the fringed gentian--to each of which he
dedicated an entire poem--the orchis and the golden rod, "the aster in
the wood and the yellow sunflower by the brook."  With these his name
will be associated as Wordsworth's with the daffodil and the lesser
celandine, and Emerson's with the rhodora.

Except when writing of nature he was apt to be commonplace, and there
are not many such energetic lines in his purely reflective verse as
these famous ones from the _Battle Field_:

  "Truth crushed to earth shall rise again;
    The eternal years of God are hers;
  But Error, wounded, writhes in pain,
    And dies among his worshipers."

He added but slowly to the number of his poems, publishing a new
collection in 1840, another in 1844, and _Thirty Poems_ in 1864.  His
work at all ages was remarkably even.  _Thanatopsis_ was as mature as
any thing that he wrote afterward, and among his later pieces, the
_Planting of the Apple Tree_ and the _Flood of Years_ were as fresh as
any thing that he had written in the first flush of youth.  Bryant's
poetic style was always pure and correct, without any tincture of
affectation or extravagance.  His prose writings are not important,
consisting mainly of papers of the _Salmagundi_ variety contributed to
the _Talisman_, an annual published in 1827-30; some rather sketchy
stories, _Tales of the {518} Glauber Spa_, 1832; and impressions of
Europe, entitled, _Letters of a Traveler_, issued in two series, in
1849 and 1858.  In 1869 and 1871 appeared his blank-verse translations
of the _Iliad_ and _Odyssey_, a remarkable achievement for a man of his
age, and not excelled, upon the whole, by any recent metrical version
of Homer in the English tongue.  Bryant's half century of service as
the editor of a daily paper should not be overlooked.  The _Evening
Post_, under his management, was always honest, gentlemanly, and
courageous, and did much to raise the tone of journalism in New York.

Another Massachusetts poet, who was outside the Boston coterie, like
Bryant, and, like him, tried his hand at journalism, was John Greenleaf
Whittier (1807- ).  He was born in a solitary farmhouse near Haverhill,
in the valley of the Merrimack, and his life has been passed mostly at
his native place and at the neighboring town of Amesbury.  The local
color, which is very pronounced in his poetry, is that of the Merrimack
from the vicinity of Haverhill to its mouth at Newburyport, a region of
hillside farms, opening out below into wide marshes--"the low, green
prairies of the sea," and the beaches of Hampton and Salisbury.  The
scenery of the Merrimack is familiar to all readers of Whittier: the
cotton-spinning towns along its banks, with their factories and dams,
the sloping pastures and orchards of the back country, the sands of
Plum Island and the level reaches of water meadow between which glide
the broad-sailed "gundalows"--a {519} local corruption of
gondola--laden with hay.  Whittier was a farmer lad, and had only such
education as the district school could supply, supplemented by two
years at the Haverhill Academy.  In his _School Days_ he gives a
picture of the little old country school-house as it used to be, the
only _alma mater_ of so many distinguished Americans, and to which many
others who have afterward trodden the pavements of great universities
look back so fondly as to their first wicket gate into the land of

  "Still sits the school-house by the road,
    A ragged beggar sunning;
  Around it still the sumachs grow
    And blackberry vines are running.

  "Within, the master's desk is seen,
    Deep-scarred by raps official;
  The warping floor, the battered seats,
    The jack-knife's carved initial."

A copy of Burns awoke the slumbering instinct in the young poet, and he
began to contribute verses to Garrison's _Free Press_, published at
Newburyport, and to the _Haverhill Gazette_.  Then he went to Boston,
and became editor for a short time of the _Manufacturer_.  Next he
edited the _Essex Gazette_, at Haverhill, and in 1830 he took charge of
George D. Prentice's paper, the _New England Weekly Review_, at
Hartford, Conn.  Here he fell in with a young Connecticut poet of much
promise, J. G. C. Brainard, editor of the {520} _Connecticut Mirror_,
whose "Remains" Whittier edited in 1832.  At Hartford, too, he
published his first book, a volume of prose and verse, entitled
_Legends of New England_, 1831, which is not otherwise remarkable than
as showing his early interest in Indian colonial traditions--especially
those which had a touch of the supernatural--a mine which he afterward
worked to good purpose in the _Bridal of Pennacook_, the _Witch's
Daughter_, and similar poems.  Some of the _Legends_ testify to
Brainard's influence and to the influence of Whittier's temporary
residence at Hartford.  One of the prose pieces, for example, deals
with the famous "Moodus Noises" at Haddam, on the Connecticut River,
and one of the poems is the same in subject with Brainard's _Black Fox
of Salmon River_.  After a year and a half at Hartford, Whittier
returned to Haverhill and to farming.

The antislavery agitation was now beginning, and into this he threw
himself with all the ardor of his nature.  He became the poet of the
reform as Garrison was its apostle, and Sumner and Phillips its
speakers.  In 1833 he published _Justice and Expediency_, a prose tract
against slavery, and in the same year he took part in the formation of
the American Antislavery Society at Philadelphia, sitting in the
convention as a delegate of the Boston Abolitionists.  Whittier was a
Quaker, and that denomination, influenced by the preaching of John
Woolman and others, had long since quietly abolished slavery within its
own communion.  The {521} Quakers of Philadelphia and elsewhere took an
earnest though peaceful part in the Garrisonian movement.  But it was a
strange irony of fate that had made the fiery-hearted Whittier a
Friend.  His poems against slavery and disunion have the martial ring
of a Tyrtaeus or a Koerner, added to the stern religious zeal of
Cromwell's Ironsides.  They are like the sound of the trumpet blown
before the walls of Jericho, or the Psalms of David denouncing woe upon
the enemies of God's chosen people.  If there is any purely Puritan
strain in American poetry it is in the war-hymns of the Quaker "Hermit
of Amesbury."  Of these patriotic poems there were three principal
collections: _Voices of Freedom_, 1849; the _Panorama and Other Poems_,
1856; and _In War Time_, 1863; Whittier's work as the poet of freedom
was done when, on hearing the bells ring for the passage of the
constitutional amendment abolishing slavery, he wrote his splendid
_Laus Deo_, thrilling with the ancient Hebrew spirit:

        "Loud and long
  Lift the old exulting song,
    Sing with Miriam by the sea--
  He has cast the mighty down,
    Horse and rider sink and drown,
    He hath triumphed gloriously."

Of his poems distinctly relating to the events of the civil war, the
best, or at all events the most popular, is _Barbara Frietchie_.
_Ichabod_, expressing the indignation of the Free Soilers at Daniel
Webster's seventh of March speech in defense of the {522} Fugitive
Slave Law, is one of Whittier's best political poems, and not
altogether unworthy of comparison with Browning's _Lost Leader_.  The
language of Whittier's warlike lyrics is biblical, and many of his
purely devotional pieces are religious poetry of a high order and have
been included in numerous collections of hymns.  Of his songs of faith
and doubt, the best are perhaps _Our Master_, _Chapel of the Hermits_,
and _Eternal Goodness_; one stanza from the last of which is familiar:

  "I know not where His islands lift
    Their fronded palms in air,
  I only know I cannot drift
    Beyond His love and care."

But from politics and war Whittier turned gladly to sing the homely
life of the New England country side.  His rural ballads and idyls are
as genuinely American as any thing that our poets have written, and
have been recommended, as such, to English working-men by Whittier's
co-religionist, John Bright.  The most popular of these is probably
_Maud Muller_, whose closing couplet has passed into proverb.  _Skipper
Ireson's Ride_ is also very current.  Better than either of them, as
poetry, is _Telling the Bees_.  But Whittier's masterpiece in work of a
descriptive and reminiscent kind is _Snow Bound_, 1866, a New England
fireside idyl which in its truthfulness recalls the _Winter Evening_ of
Cowper's _Task_ and Burns's _Cotter's Saturday Night_, but in sweetness
and animation is superior to either of them.  Although in {523} some
things a Puritan of the Puritans, Whittier has never forgotten that he
is also a Friend, and several of his ballads and songs have been upon
the subject of the early Quaker persecutions in Massachusetts.  The
most impressive of these is _Cassandra Southwick_.  The latest of them,
the _King's Missive_, originally contributed to the _Memorial History
of Boston_ in 1880, and reprinted the next year in a volume with other
poems, has been the occasion of a rather lively controversy.  The
_Bridal of Pennacook_, 1848, and the _Tent on the Beach_, 1867, which
contain some of his best work, were series of ballads told by different
narrators, after the fashion of Longfellow's _Tales of a Wayside Inn_.
As an artist in verse Whittier is strong and fervid, rather than
delicate or rich.  He uses only a few metrical forms--by preference the
eight-syllabled rhyming couplet

  --"Maud Muller on a summer's day
    Raked the meadow sweet with hay," etc.--

and the emphatic tramp of this measure becomes very monotonous, as do
some of Whittier's mannerisms; which proceed, however, never from
affectation, but from a lack of study and variety, and so, no doubt, in
part from the want of that academic culture and thorough technical
equipment which Lowell and Longfellow enjoyed.  Though his poems are
not in dialect, like Lowell's _Biglow Papers_, he knows how to make an
artistic use of homely provincial words, such as "chore," {524} which
give his idyls of the hearth and the barnyard a genuine Doric cast.
Whittier's prose is inferior to his verse.  The fluency which was a
besetting sin of his poetry when released from the fetters of rhyme and
meter ran into wordiness.  His prose writings were partly contributions
to the slavery controversy, partly biographical sketches of English and
American reformers, and partly studies of the scenery and folk-lore of
the Merrimack Valley.  Those of most literary interest were the
_Supernaturalism of New England_, 1847, and some of the papers in
_Literary Recreations and Miscellanies_, 1854.

While Massachusetts was creating an American literature, other sections
of the Union were by no means idle.  The West, indeed, was as yet too
raw to add any thing of importance to the artistic product of the
country.  The South was hampered by circumstances which will presently
be described.  But in and about the seaboard cities of New York,
Philadelphia, Baltimore and Richmond, many pens were busy filling the
columns of literary weeklies and monthlies; and there was a
considerable output, such as it was, of books of poetry, fiction,
travel, and miscellaneous light literature.  Time has already relegated
most of these to the dusty top-shelves.  To rehearse the names of the
numerous contributors to the old _Knickerbocker Magazine_, to
_Godey's_, and _Graham's_, and the _New Mirror_, and the _Southern
Literary Messenger_, or to run over the list of authorlings and
poetasters in Poe's papers on {525} the _Literati of New York_, would
be very much like reading the inscriptions on the head-stones of an old
grave-yard.  In the columns of these prehistoric magazines and in the
book notices and reviews away back in the thirties and forties, one
encounters the handiwork and the names of Emerson, Holmes, Longfellow,
Hawthorne, and Lowell, embodied in this mass of forgotten literature.
It would have required a good deal of critical acumen, at the time, to
predict that these and a few others would soon be thrown out into bold
relief, as the significant and permanent names in the literature of
their generation, while Paulding, Hirst, Fay, Dawes, Mrs. Osgood, and
scores of others who figured beside them in the fashionable
periodicals, and filled quite as large a space in the public eye, would
sink into oblivion in less than thirty years.  Some of these latter
were clever enough people; they entertained their contemporary public
sufficiently, but their work had no vitality or "power of continuance."
The great majority of the writings of any period are necessarily
ephemeral, and time by a slow process of natural selection is
constantly sifting out the few representative books which shall carry
on the memory of the period to posterity.  Now and then it may be
predicted of some undoubted work of genius, even at the moment that it
sees the light, that it is destined to endure.  But tastes and fashions
change, and few things are better calculated to inspire the literary
critic with humility than to read {526} the prophecies in old reviews
and see how the future, now become the present, has quietly given them
the lie.

From among the professional _litterateurs_ of his day emerges, with
ever sharper distinctness as time goes on, the name of Edgar Allan Poe
(1809-1849.)  By the irony of fate Poe was born at Boston, and his
first volume, _Tamerlane and Other Poems_, 1827, was printed in that
city and bore upon its title page the words, "By a Bostonian."  But his
parentage, so far as it was any thing, was southern.  His father was a
Marylander who had gone upon the stage and married an actress, herself
the daughter of an actress and a native of England.  Left an orphan by
the early death of both parents, Poe was adopted by a Mr. Allan, a
wealthy merchant of Richmond, Va.  He was educated partly at an English
school, was student for a time in the University of Virginia and
afterward a cadet in the Military Academy at West Point.  His youth was
wild and irregular: he gambled and drank, was proud, bitter and
perverse; finally quarreled with his guardian and adopted father--by
whom he was disowned--and then betook himself to the life of a literary
hack.  His brilliant but underpaid work for various periodicals soon
brought him into notice, and he was given the editorship of the
_Southern Literary Messenger_, published at Richmond, and subsequently
of the _Gentlemen's_--afterward _Graham's_--_Magazine_ in Philadelphia.
These and all other positions Poe forfeited through his {527}
dissipated habits and wayward temper, and finally, in 1844, he drifted
to New York, where he found employment on the _Evening Mirror_ and then
on the _Broadway Journal_.  He died of delirium tremens at the Marine
Hospital in Baltimore.  His life was one of the most wretched in
literary history.  He was an extreme instance of what used to be called
the "eccentricity of genius."  He had the irritable vanity which is
popularly supposed to accompany the poetic temperament, and was so
insanely egotistic as to imagine that Longfellow and others were
constantly plagiarizing from him.  The best side of Poe's character
came out in his domestic relations, in which he displayed great
tenderness, patience and fidelity.  His instincts were gentlemanly, and
his manner and conversation were often winning.  In the place of moral
feeling he had the artistic conscience.  In his critical papers, except
where warped by passion or prejudice, he showed neither fear nor favor,
denouncing bad work by the most illustrious hands and commending
obscure merit.  The "impudent literary cliques" who puffed each other's
books; the feeble chirrupings of the bardlings who manufactured verses
for the "Annuals;" and the twaddle of the "genial" incapables who
praised them in flabby reviews--all these Poe exposed with ferocious
honesty.  Nor, though his writings are _un_moral, can they be called in
any sense _im_moral.  His poetry is as pure in its unearthliness as
Bryant's in its austerity.


By 1831 Poe had published three thin books of verse, none of which had
attracted notice, although the latest contained the drafts of a few of
his most perfect poems, such as _Israfel_, the _Valley of Unrest_, the
_City in the Sea_, and one of the two pieces inscribed _To Helen_.  It
was his habit to touch and retouch his work until it grew under his
more practiced hand into a shape that satisfied his fastidious taste.
Hence the same poem frequently reappears in different stages of
development in successive editions.  Poe was a subtle artist in the
realm of the weird and the fantastic.  In his intellectual nature there
was a strange conjunction; an imagination as spiritual as Shelley's,
though, unlike Shelley's, haunted perpetually with shapes of fear and
the imagery of ruin; with this, an analytic power, a scientific
exactness, and a mechanical ingenuity more usual in a chemist or a
mathematician than in a poet.  He studied carefully the mechanism of
his verse and experimented endlessly with verbal and musical effects,
such as repetition, and monotone, and the selection of words in which
the consonants alliterated and the vowels varied.  In his _Philosophy
of Composition_ he described how his best known poem, the _Raven_, was
systematically built up on a preconceived plan in which the number of
lines was first determined and the word "nevermore" selected as a
starting point.  No one who knows the mood in which poetry is composed
will believe that this ingenious piece of dissection really describes
the way in {529} which the _Raven_ was conceived and written, or that
any such deliberate and self-conscious process could _originate_ the
associations from which a true poem springs.  But it flattered Poe's
pride of intellect to assert that his cooler reason had control not
only over the execution of his poetry, but over the very well-head of
thought and emotion.  Some of his most successful stories, like the
_Gold Bug_, the _Mystery of Marie Roget_, the _Purloined Letter_, and
the _Murders in the Rue Morgue_, were applications of this analytic
faculty to the solution of puzzles, such as the finding of buried
treasure or of a lost document, or the ferreting out of a mysterious
crime.  After the publication of the _Gold Bug_ he received from all
parts of the country specimens of cipher writing, which he delighted to
work out.  Others of his tales were clever pieces of mystification,
like _Hans Pfaall_, the story of a journey to the moon, or experiments
at giving verisimilitude to wild improbabilities by the skillful
introduction of scientific details, as in the _Facts in the Case of M.
Valdemar_ and _Von Kempelen's Discovery_.  In his narratives of this
kind Poe anticipated the detective novels of Gaboriau and Wilkie
Collins, the scientific hoaxes of Jules Verne, and, though in a less
degree, the artfully worked up likeness to fact in Edward Everett
Hale's _Man Without a Country_, and similar fictions.  While Dickens's
_Barnaby Rudge_ was publishing in parts, Poe showed his skill as a plot
hunter by publishing a paper in _Graham's Magazine_ in which the very
{530} tangled intrigue of the novel was correctly raveled and the
_finale_ predicted in advance.

In his union of imagination and analytic power Poe resembled Coleridge,
who, if any one, was his teacher in poetry and criticism.  Poe's verse
often reminds one of _Christabel_ and the _Ancient Mariner_, still
oftener of _Kubla Khan_.  Like Coleridge, too, he indulged at times in
the opium habit.  But in Poe the artist predominated over every thing
else.  He began not with sentiment or thought, but with technique, with
melody and color, tricks of language, and effects of verse.  It is
curious to study the growth of his style in his successive volumes of
poetry.  At first these are metrical experiments and vague images,
original, and with a fascinating suggestiveness, but with so little
meaning that some of his earlier pieces are hardly removed from
nonsense.  Gradually, like distant music drawing nearer and nearer, his
poetry becomes fuller of imagination and of an inward significance,
without ever losing, however, its mysterious aloofness from the real
world of the senses.  It was a part of Poe's literary creed--formed
upon his own practice and his own limitations, but set forth with a
great display of _a priori_ reasoning in his essay on the _Poetic
Principle_ and elsewhere--that pleasure and not instruction or moral
exhortation was the end of poetry; that beauty and not truth or
goodness was its means; and, furthermore, that the pleasure which it
gave should be _indefinite_.  About his own poetry there was always
this {531} indefiniteness.  His imagination dwelt in a strange country
of dream--a "ghoul-haunted region of Weir," "out of space, out of
time"--filled with unsubstantial landscapes, and peopled by spectral
shapes.  And yet there is a wonderful, hidden significance in this
uncanny scenery.  The reader feels that the wild, fantasmal imagery is
in itself a kind of language, and that it in some way expresses a
brooding thought or passion, the terror and despair of a lost soul.
Sometimes there is an obvious allegory, as in the _Haunted Palace_,
which is the parable of a ruined mind, or in the _Raven_, the most
popular of all Poe's poems, originally published in the _American Whig
Review_ for February, 1845.  Sometimes the meaning is more obscure, as
in _Ulalume_, which, to most people, is quite incomprehensible, and yet
to all readers of poetic feeling is among the most characteristic, and,
therefore, the most fascinating, of its author's creations.

Now and then, as in the beautiful ballad, _Annabel Lee_, and _To One in
Paradise_, the poet emerges into the light of common human feeling and
speaks a more intelligible language.  But in general his poetry is not
the poetry of the heart, and its passion is not the passion of flesh
and blood.  In Poe the thought of death is always near, and of the
shadowy borderland between death and life.

  "The play is the tragedy 'Man,'
  And its hero the Conqueror Worm,"


The prose tale, _Ligeia_, in which these verses are inserted, is one of
the most powerful of all Poe's writings, and its theme is the power of
the will to overcome death.  In that singularly impressive poem, the
_Sleeper_, the morbid horror which invests the tomb springs from the
same source, the materiality of Poe's imagination, which refuses to let
the soul go free from the body.

This quality explains why Poe's _Tales of the Grotesque_ and
_Arabesque_, 1840, are on a lower plane than Hawthorne's romances, to
which a few of them, like _William Wilson_ and the _Man of the Crowd_,
have some resemblance.  The former of these, in particular, is in
Hawthorne's peculiar province, the allegory of the conscience.  But in
general the tragedy in Hawthorne is a spiritual one, while Poe calls in
the aid of material forces.  The passion of physical fear or of
superstitious horror is that which his writings most frequently excite.
These tales represent various grades of the frightful and the ghastly,
from the mere bug-a-boo story like the _Black Cat_, which makes
children afraid to go in the dark, up to the breathless terror of the
_Cask of Amontillado_, or the _Red Death_.  Poe's masterpiece in this
kind is the fateful tale of the _Fall of the House of Usher_, with its
solemn and magnificent close.  His prose, at its best, often recalls,
in its richly imaginative cast, the manner of De Quincey in such
passages as his _Dream Fugue_, or _Our Ladies of Sorrow_.  In {533}
descriptive pieces like the _Domain of Arnheim_, and stories of
adventure like the _Descent into the Maelstrom_, and his long sea tale,
_The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym_, 1838, he displayed a realistic
inventiveness almost equal to Swift's or De Foe's.  He was not without
a mocking irony, but he had no constructive humor, and his attempts at
the facetious were mostly failures.

Poe's magical creations were rootless flowers.  He took no hold upon
the life about him, and cared nothing for the public concerns of his
country.  His poems and tales might have been written _in vacuo_ for
any thing American in them.  Perhaps for this reason, in part, his fame
has been so cosmopolitan.  In France especially his writings have been
favorites.  Charles Baudelaire, the author of the _Fleurs du Mal_,
translated them into French, and his own impressive but unhealthy
poetry shows evidence of Poe's influence.  The defect in Poe was in
character, a defect which will make itself felt in art as in life.  If
he had had the sweet home feeling of Longfellow or the moral fervor of
Whittier he might have been a greater poet than either.

    "If I could dwell
  Where Israfel
    Hath dwelt, and he where I,
  He might not sing so wildly well
    A mortal melody,
  While a bolder note than this might swell
    From my lyre within the sky!"


Though Poe was a southerner, if not by birth, at least by race and
breeding, there was nothing distinctly southern about his peculiar
genius, and in his wandering life he was associated as much with
Philadelphia and New York as with Baltimore and Richmond.  The
conditions which had made the southern colonies unfruitful in literary
and educational works before the Revolution continued to act down to
the time of the civil war.  Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin
in the closing years of the last century gave extension to slavery,
making it profitable to cultivate the new staple by enormous gangs of
field hands working under the whip of the overseer in large
plantations.  Slavery became henceforth a business speculation in the
States furthest south, and not, as in Old Virginia and Kentucky, a
comparatively mild domestic system.  The necessity of defending its
peculiar institution against the attacks of a growing faction in the
North compelled the South to throw all its intellectual strength into
politics, which, for that matter, is the natural occupation and
excitement of a social aristocracy.  Meanwhile immigration sought the
free States, and there was no middle class at the South.  The "poor
whites" were ignorant and degraded.  There were people of education in
the cities and on some of the plantations, but there was no great
educated class from which a literature could proceed.  And the culture
of the South, such as it was, was becoming old-fashioned and local, as
the section was isolated {535} more and more from the rest of the Union
and from the enlightened public opinion of Europe by its reactionary
prejudices and its sensitiveness on the subject of slavery.  Nothing
can be imagined more ridiculously provincial than the sophomorical
editorials in the southern press just before the outbreak of the war,
or than the backward and ill-informed articles which passed for reviews
in the poorly supported periodicals of the South.

In the general dearth of work of high and permanent value, one or two
southern authors may be mentioned whose writings have at least done
something to illustrate the life and scenery of their section.  When in
1833 the Baltimore _Saturday Visitor_ offered a prize of a hundred
dollars for the best prose tale, one of the committee who awarded the
prize to Poe's first story, the MS. _Found in a Bottle_, was John P.
Kennedy, a Whig gentleman of Baltimore, who afterward became Secretary
of the Navy in Fillmore's administration.  The year before he had
published _Swallow Barn_, a series of agreeable sketches of country
life in Virginia.  In 1835 and 1838 he published his two novels,
_Horse-Shoe Robinson_ and _Rob of the Bowl_, the former a story of the
Revolutionary War in South Carolina; the latter an historical tale of
colonial Maryland.  These had sufficient success to warrant reprinting
as late as 1852.  But the most popular and voluminous of all Southern
writers of fiction was William Gilmore Simms, a South Carolinian, who
died in 1870.  He wrote over thirty {536} novels, mostly romances of
Revolutionary history, southern life and wild adventure, among the best
of which were the _Partisan_, 1835, and the _Yemassee_.  Simms was an
inferior Cooper, with a difference.  His novels are good boys' books,
but are crude and hasty in composition.  He was strongly southern in
his sympathies, though his newspaper, the _Charleston City Gazette_,
took part against the Nullifiers.  His miscellaneous writings include
several histories and biographies, political tracts, addresses and
critical papers contributed to southern magazines.  He also wrote
numerous poems, the most ambitious of which was _Atlantis, a Story of
the Sea_, 1832.  His poems have little value except as here and there
illustrating local scenery and manners, as in _Southern Passages and
Pictures_, 1839.  Mr. John Esten Cooke's pleasant but not very strong
_Virginia Comedians_ was, perhaps, in literary quality the best
southern novel produced before the civil war.

When Poe came to New York, the most conspicuous literary figure of the
metropolis, with the possible exception of Bryant and Halleck, was N.
P. Willis, one of the editors of the _Evening Mirror_, upon which
journal Poe was for a time engaged.  Willis had made a literary
reputation, when a student at Yale, by his _Scripture Poems_, written
in smooth blank verse.  Afterward he had edited the _American Monthly_
in his native city of Boston, and more recently he had published
_Pencillings by the Way_, 1835, a pleasant record of {537} European
saunterings; _Inklings of Adventure_, 1836, a collection of dashing
stories and sketches of American and foreign life; and _Letters from
Under a Bridge_, 1839, a series of charming rural letters from his
country place at Owego, on the Susquehanna.  Willis's work, always
graceful and sparkling, sometimes even brilliant, though light in
substance and jaunty in style, had quickly raised him to the summit of
popularity.  During the years from 1835 to 1850 he was the most
successful American magazinist, and even down to the day of his death,
in 1867, he retained his hold upon the attention of the fashionable
public by his easy paragraphing and correspondence in the _Mirror_ and
its successor, the _Home Journal_, which catered to the literary wants
of the _beau monde_.  Much of Willis's work was ephemeral, though
clever of its kind, but a few of his best tales and sketches, such as
_F. Smith_, _The Ghost Ball at Congress Hall_, _Edith Linsey_, and the
_Lunatic's Skate_, together with some of the _Letters from Under a
Bridge_, are worthy of preservation, not only as readable stories, but
as society studies of life at American watering places like Nahant and
Saratoga and Ballston Spa half a century ago.  A number of his simpler
poems, like _Unseen Spirits_, _Spring_, _To M---- from Abroad_, and
_Lines on Leaving Europe_, still retain a deserved place in collections
and anthologies.

The senior editor of the _Mirror_, George P. Morris, was once a very
popular song writer, and {538} his _Woodman, Spare that Tree_, still
survives.  Other residents of New York City who have written single
famous pieces were Clement C. Moore, a professor in the General
Theological Seminary, whose _Visit from St. Nicholas_--"'Twas the Night
Before Christmas," etc.--is a favorite ballad in every nursery in the
land; Charles Fenno Hoffman, a novelist of reputation in his time, but
now remembered only as the author of the song, _Sparkling and Bright_,
and the patriotic ballad of _Monterey_; Robert H. Messinger, a native
of Boston, but long resident in New York, where he was a familiar
figure in fashionable society, who wrote _Give Me the Old_, a fine ode
with a choice Horatian flavor; and William Allen Butler, a lawyer and
occasional writer, whose capital satire of _Nothing to Wear_ was
published anonymously and had a great run.  Of younger poets, like
Stoddard and Aldrich, who formerly wrote for the _Mirror_ and who are
still living and working in the maturity of their powers, it is not
within the limits and design of this sketch to speak.  But one of their
contemporaries, Bayard Taylor, who died, American Minister at Berlin,
in 1878, though a Pennsylvanian by birth and rearing, may be reckoned
among the "literati of New York."  A farmer lad from Chester County,
who had learned the printer's trade and printed a little volume of his
juvenile verses in 1844, he came to New York shortly after with
credentials from Dr. Griswold, the editor of _Graham's_, and obtaining
encouragement and aid {539} from Willis, Horace Greeley and others, he
set out to make the tour of Europe, walking from town to town in
Germany and getting employment now and then at his trade to help pay
the expenses of the trip.  The story of these _Wanderjahre_ he told in
his _Views Afoot_, 1846.  This was the first of eleven books of travel
written during the course of his life.  He was an inveterate nomad, and
his journeyings carried him to the remotest regions--to California,
India, China, Japan and the isles of the sea, to Central Africa and the
Soudan, Palestine, Egypt, Iceland and the "by-ways of Europe."  His
head-quarters at home were in New York, where he did literary work for
the _Tribune_.  He was a rapid and incessant worker, throwing off many
volumes of verse and prose, fiction, essays, sketches, translations and
criticism, mainly contributed in the first instance to the magazines.
His versatility was very marked, and his poetry ranged from _Rhymes of
Travel_, 1848, and _Poems of the Orient_, 1854, to idyls and home
ballads of Pennsylvania life, like the _Quaker Widow_ and the _Old
Pennsylvania Farmer_, and, on the other side, to ambitious and somewhat
mystical poems, like the _Masque of the Gods_, 1872--written in four
days--and dramatic experiments like the _Prophet_, 1874, and _Prince
Deukalion_, 1878.  He was a man of buoyant and eager nature, with a
great appetite for new experience, a remarkable memory, a talent for
learning languages, and a too great readiness to take the hue of his
favorite books.  From {540} his facility, his openness to external
impressions of scenery and costume and his habit of turning these at
once into the service of his pen, it results that there is something
"newspapery" and superficial about most of his prose.  It is reporter's
work, though reporting of a high order.  His poetry, too, though full
of glow and picturesqueness, is largely imitative, suggesting Tennyson
not unfrequently, but more often Shelley.  His spirited _Bedouin Song_,
for example, has an echo of Shelley's _Lines to an Indian Air_:

  "From the desert I come to thee
    On a stallion shod with fire;
  And the winds are left behind
    In the speed of my desire.
  Under thy window I stand
    And the midnight hears my cry;
  I love thee, I love but thee
    With a love that shall not die."

The dangerous quickness with which he caught the manner of other poets
made him an admirable parodist and translator.  His _Echo Club_, 1876,
contains some of the best travesties in the tongue, and his great
translation of Goethe's _Faust_, 1870-71--with its wonderfully close
reproduction of the original meters--is one of the glories of American
literature.  All in all, Taylor may unhesitatingly be put first among
our poets of the second generation--the generation succeeding that of
Longfellow and Lowell--although the lack in him of original genius
self-determined to a {541} peculiar sphere, or the want of an inward
fixity and concentration to resist the rich tumult of outward
impressions, has made him less significant in the history of our
literary thought than some other writers less generously endowed.

Taylor's novels had the qualities of his verse.  They were profuse,
eloquent and faulty.  _John Godfrey's Fortune_, 1864, gave a picture of
bohemian life in New York.  _Hannah Thurston_, 1863, and the _Story of
Kennett_, 1866, introduced many incidents and persons from the old
Quaker life of rural Pennsylvania, as Taylor remembered it in his
boyhood.  The former was like Hawthorne's _Blithedale Romance_, a
satire on fanatics and reformers, and its heroine is a nobly conceived
character, though drawn with some exaggeration.  The _Story of
Kennett_, which is largely autobiographic, has a greater freshness and
reality than the others and is full of personal recollections.  In
these novels, as in his short stories, Taylor's pictorial skill is
greater on the whole than his power of creating characters or inventing

Literature in the West now began to have an existence.  Another young
poet from Chester County, Pa., namely, Thomas Buchanan Read, went to
Cincinnati, and not to New York, to study sculpture and painting, about
1837, and one of his best-known poems, _Pons Maximus_, was written on
the occasion of the opening of the suspension bridge across the Ohio.
Read came East, to be sure, in 1841, and spent many years in our {542}
seaboard cities and in Italy.  He was distinctly a minor poet, but some
of his Pennsylvania pastorals, like the _Deserted Road_, have a natural
sweetness; and his luxurious _Drifting_, which combines the methods of
painting and poetry, is justly popular.  _Sheridan's Ride_--perhaps his
most current piece--is a rather forced production and has been
over-praised.  The two Ohio sister poets, Alice and Phoebe Cary, were
attracted to New York in 1850, as soon as their literary success seemed
assured.  They made that city their home for the remainder of their
lives.  Poe praised Alice Cary's _Pictures of Memory_, and Phoebe's
_Nearer Home_ has become a favorite hymn.  There is nothing peculiarly
Western about the verse of the Cary sisters.  It is the poetry of
sentiment, memory, and domestic affection, entirely feminine, rather
tame and diffuse as a whole, but tender and sweet, cherished by many
good women and dear to simple hearts.

A stronger smack of the soil is in the negro melodies like _Uncle Ned_,
_O Susanna_, _Old Folks at Home_, _Way Down South_, _Nelly was a Lady_,
_My Old Kentucky Home_, etc., which were the work not of any southern
poet, but of Stephen C. Foster, a native of Allegheny, Pa., and a
resident of Cincinnati and Pittsburg.  He composed the words and music
of these, and many others of a similar kind, during the years 1847 to
1861.  Taken together they form the most original and vital addition
which this country has made to the psalmody {543} of the world, and
entitle Foster to the first rank among American song writers.

As Foster's plaintive melodies carried the pathos and humor of the
plantation all over the land, so Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe's _Uncle
Tom's Cabin_, 1852, brought home to millions of readers the sufferings
of the negroes in the "black belt" of the cotton-growing States.  This
is the most popular novel ever written in America.  Hundreds of
thousands of copies were sold in this country and in England, and some
forty translations were made into foreign tongues.  In its dramatized
form it still keeps the stage, and the statistics of circulating
libraries show that even now it is in greater demand than any other
single book.  It did more than any other literary agency to rouse the
public conscience to a sense of the shame and horror of slavery; more
even than Garrison's _Liberator_; more than the indignant poems of
Whittier and Lowell or the orations of Sumner and Phillips.  It
presented the thing concretely and dramatically, and in particular it
made the odious Fugitive Slave Law forever impossible to enforce.  It
was useless for the defenders of slavery to protest that the picture
was exaggerated and that overseers like Legree were the exception.  The
system under which such brutalities could happen, and did sometimes
happen, was doomed.  It is easy now to point out defects of taste and
art in this masterpiece, to show that the tone is occasionally
melodramatic, that some of the characters are {544} conventional, and
that the literary execution is in parts feeble and in others coarse.
In spite of all it remains true that _Uncle Tom's Cabin_ is a great
book, the work of genius seizing instinctively upon its opportunity and
uttering the thought of the time with a power that thrilled the heart
of the nation and of the world.  Mrs. Stowe never repeated her first
success.  Some of her novels of New England life, such as the
_Minister's Wooing_, 1859, and the _Pearl of Orr's Island_, 1862, have
a mild kind of interest, and contain truthful portraiture of provincial
ways and traits; while later fictions of a domestic type, like _Pink
and White Tyranny_, and _My Wife and I_, are really beneath criticism.

There were other Connecticut writers contemporary with Mrs. Stowe: Mrs.
L. H. Sigourney, for example, a Hartford poetess, formerly known as
"the Hemans of America," but now quite obsolete; and J. G. Percival of
New Haven, a shy and eccentric scholar, whose geological work was of
value, and whose memory is preserved by one or two of his simpler
poems, still in circulation, such as _To Seneca Lake_ and the _Coral
Grove_.  Another Hartford poet, Brainard--already spoken of as an early
friend of Whittier--died young, leaving a few pieces which show that
his lyrical gift was spontaneous and genuine but had received little
cultivation.  A much younger writer than either of these, Donald G.
Mitchell, of New Haven, has a more lasting place in our literature, by
virtue of his charmingly written _Reveries of a Bachelor_, {545} 1850,
and _Dream Life_, 1852, stories which sketch themselves out in a series
of reminiscences and lightly connected scenes, and which always appeal
freshly to young men because they have that dreamy outlook upon life
which is characteristic of youth.  But, upon the whole, the most
important contribution made by Connecticut in that generation to the
literary stock of America was the Beecher family.  Lyman Beecher had
been an influential preacher and theologian, and a sturdy defender of
orthodoxy against Boston Unitarianism.  Of his numerous sons and
daughters, all more or less noted for intellectual vigor and
independence, the most eminent were Mrs. Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher,
the great pulpit orator of Brooklyn.  Mr. Beecher was too busy a man to
give more than his spare moments to general literature.  His sermons,
lectures, and addresses were reported for the daily papers and printed
in part in book form; but these lose greatly when divorced from the
large, warm, and benignant personality of the man.  His volumes made up
of articles in the _Independent_ and the _Ledger_, such as _Star
Papers_, 1855, and _Eyes and Ears_, 1862, contain many delightful
_morceaux_ upon country life and similar topics, though they are hardly
wrought with sufficient closeness and care to take a permanent place in
letters.  Like Willis's _Ephemerae_, they are excellent literary
journalism, but hardly literature.

We may close our retrospect of American {546} literature before 1861
with a brief notice of one of the most striking literary phenomena of
the time--the _Leaves of Grass_ of Walt Whitman, published at Brooklyn
in 1855.  The author, born at West Hills, Long Island, in 1819, had
been printer, school-teacher, editor, and builder.  He had scribbled a
good deal of poetry of the ordinary kind, which attracted little
attention, but finding conventional rhymes and meters too cramping a
vehicle for his need of expression, he discarded them for a kind of
rhythmic chant, of which the following is a fair specimen:

  "Press close, bare bosom'd night!  Press close, magnetic,
        nourishing night!
  Night of south winds! night of the few large stars!
  Still, nodding night! mad, naked, summer night!"

The invention was not altogether a new one.  The English translation of
the Psalms of David and of some of the Prophets, the _Poems of Ossian_,
and some of Matthew Arnold's unrhymed pieces, especially the _Strayed
Reveller_, have an irregular rhythm of this kind, to say nothing of the
old Anglo-Saxon poems, like _Beowulf_, and the Scripture paraphrases
attributed to Caedmon.  But this species of _oratio soluta_, carried to
the lengths to which Whitman carried it, had an air of novelty which
was displeasing to some, while to others, weary of familiar measures
and jingling rhymes, it was refreshing in its boldness and freedom.
There is no consenting estimate of this poet.  {547} Many think that
his so-called poems are not poems at all, but simply a bad variety of
prose; that there is nothing to him beyond a combination of affectation
and indecency; and that the Whitman _culte_ is a passing "fad" of a few
literary men, and especially of a number of English critics like
Rossetti, Swinburne, Buchanan, etc., who, being determined to have
something unmistakably American--that is, different from any thing
else--in writings from this side of the water before they will
acknowledge any originality in them, have been misled into discovering
in Whitman "the poet of Democracy."  Others maintain that he is the
greatest of American poets, or, indeed, of all modern poets; that he is
"cosmic," or universal, and that he has put an end forever to puling
rhymes and lines chopped up into metrical feet.  Whether Whitman's
poetry is formally poetry at all or merely the raw material of poetry,
the chaotic and amorphous impression which it makes on readers of
conservative tastes results from his effort to take up into his verse
elements which poetry has usually left out--the ugly, the earthy, and
even the disgusting; the "under side of things," which he holds not to
be prosaic when apprehended with a strong, masculine joy in life and
nature seen in all their aspects.  The lack of these elements in the
conventional poets seems to him and his disciples like leaving out the
salt from the ocean, making poetry merely pretty and blinking whole
classes of facts.  Hence the naturalism and animalism of some of the
{548} divisions in _Leaves of Grass_, particularly that entitled
_Children of Adam_, which gave great offense by its immodesty, or its
outspokenness.  Whitman holds that nakedness is chaste; that all the
functions of the body in healthy exercise are equally clean; that all,
in fact, are divine; and that matter is as divine as spirit.  The
effort to get every thing into his poetry, to speak out his thought
just as it comes to him, accounts, too, for his way of cataloguing
objects without selection.  His single expressions are often
unsurpassed for descriptive beauty and truth.  He speaks of "the
vitreous pour of the full moon, just tinged with blue," of the "lisp"
of the plane, of the prairies, "where herds of buffalo make a crawling
spread of the square miles."  But if there is any eternal distinction
between poetry and prose the most liberal canons of the poetic art will
never agree to accept lines like these:

  "And [I] remember putting plasters on the galls of his neck
      and ankles;
  He stayed with me a week before he was recuperated, and
      passed north."

Whitman is the spokesman of Democracy and of the future; full of
brotherliness and hope, loving the warm, gregarious pressure of the
crowd and the touch of his comrade's elbow in the ranks.  He liked the
people--multitudes of people; the swarm of life beheld from a Broadway
omnibus or a Brooklyn ferry-boat.  The rowdy and the Negro {549}
truck-driver were closer to his sympathy than the gentleman and the
scholar.  "I loafe and invite my soul," he writes: "I sound my barbaric
yawp over the roofs of the world."  His poem _Walt Whitman_, frankly
egotistic, simply describes himself as a typical, average man--the same
as any other man, and therefore not individual but universal.  He has
great tenderness and heartiness--"the good gray poet;" and during the
civil war he devoted himself unreservedly to the wounded soldiers in
the Washington hospitals--an experience which he has related in the
_Dresser_ and elsewhere.  It is characteristic of his rough and ready
_camaraderie_ to use slang and newspaper English in his poetry, to call
himself Walt instead of Walter, and to have his picture taken in a
slouch hat and with a flannel shirt open at the throat.  His decriers
allege that he poses for effect; that he is simply a backward eddy in
the tide, and significant only as a temporary reaction against ultra
civilization--like Thoreau, though in a different way.  But with all
his mistakes in art there is a healthy, virile, tumultuous pulse of
life in his lyric utterance and a great sweep of imagination in his
panoramic view of times and countries.  One likes to read him because
he feels so good, enjoys so fully the play of his senses, and has such
a lusty confidence in his own immortality and in the prospects of the
human race.  Stripped of verbiage and repetition, his ideas are not
many.  His indebtedness to Emerson--who wrote an introduction to {550}
the _Leaves of Grass_--is manifest.  He sings of man and not men, and
the individual differences of character, sentiment, and passion, the
_dramatic_ elements of life, find small place in his system.  It is too
early to say what will be his final position in literary history.  But
it is noteworthy that the democratic masses have not accepted him yet
as their poet.  Whittier and Longfellow, the poets of conscience and
feeling, are the darlings of the American people.  The admiration, and
even the knowledge of Whitman, are mostly esoteric, confined to the
literary class.  It is also not without significance as to the ultimate
reception of his innovations in verse that he has numerous parodists,
but no imitators.  The tendency among our younger poets is not toward
the abandonment of rhyme and meter, but toward the introduction of new
stanza forms and an increasing carefulness and finish in the
_technique_ of their art.  It is observable, too, that in his most
inspired passages Whitman reverts to the old forms of verse; to blank
verse, for example, in the _Man-o'-War-Bird_:

  "Thou who hast slept all night upon the storm,
  Waking renewed on thy prodigious pinions," etc.,

and elsewhere not infrequently to dactylic hexameters and pentameters:

  "Earth of shine and dark, mottling the tide of the river! . . .
  Far-swooping, elbowed earth! rich, apple-blossomed earth."

{551} Indeed, Whitman's most popular poem, _My Captain_, written after
the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, differs little in form from
ordinary verse, as a stanza of it will show:

  "My captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still;
  My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
  The ship is anchored safe and sound, its voyage closed and done;
  From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won.
        Exult, O shores, and ring, O bells!
          But I, with mournful tread,
        Walk the deck, my captain lies
          Fallen, cold and dead."

This is from _Drum Taps_, a volume of poems of the civil war.  Whitman
has also written prose having much the same quality as his poetry:
_Democratic Vistas_, _Memoranda of the Civil War_, and more recently,
_Specimen Days_.  His residence of late years has been at Camden, New
Jersey, where a centennial edition of his writings was published in

1. William Cullen Bryant.  Thanatopsis.  To a Waterfowl.  Green River.
Hymn to the North Star.  A Forest Hymn.  "O Fairest of the Rural
Maids."  June.  The Death of the Flowers.  The Evening Wind.  The
Battle Field.  The Planting of the Apple-tree.  The Flood of Years.

2. John Greenleaf Whittier.  Cassandra {552} Southwick.  The New Wife
and the Old.  The Virginia Slave Mother.  Randolph of Roanoke.  Barclay
of Ary.  The Witch of Wenham.  Skipper Ireson's Ride.  Marguerite.
Maud Muller.  Telling the Bees.  My Playmate.  Barbara Frietchie.
Ichabod.  Laus Deo.  Snow Bound.

3. Edgar Allan Poe.  The Raven.  The Bells.  Israfel.  Ulalume.  To
Helen.  The City in the Sea.  Annabel Lee.  To One in Paradise.  The
Sleeper.  The Valley of Unrest.  The Fall of the House of Usher.
Ligeia.  William Wilson.  The Cask of Amontillado.  The Assignation.
The Masque of the Red Death.  Narrative of A. Gordon Pym.

4. N. P. Willis.  Select Prose Writings.  New York: Charles Scribner's
Sons.  1886.

5. Mrs. H. B. Stowe.  Uncle Tom's Cabin.  Oldtown Folks.

6. W. G. Simms.  The Partisan.  The Yemassee.

7. Bayard Taylor.  A Bacchic Ode.  Hylas.  Kubleh.  The Soldier and the
Pard.  Sicilian Wine.  Taurus.  Serapion.  The Metempsychosis of the
Pine.  The Temptation of Hassan Ben Khaled.  Bedouin Song.  Euphorion.
The Quaker Widow.  John Reid.  Lars.  Views Afoot.  By-ways of Europe.
The Story of Kennett.  The Echo Club.

8. Walt Whitman.  My Captain.  "When Lilacs Last in the Door-yard
Bloomed."  "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking."  Pioneers, {553} O
Pioneers.  The Mystic Trumpeter.  A Woman at Auction.  Sea-shore
Memoirs.  Passage to India.  Mannahatta.  The Wound Dresser.  Longings
for Home.

9. Poets of America.  By E. C. Stedman.  Boston: Houghton, Mifflin &
Co.  1885.




A generation has nearly passed since the outbreak of the civil war, and
although public affairs are still mainly in the hands of men who had
reached manhood before the conflict opened, or who were old enough at
that time to remember clearly its stirring events, the younger men who
are daily coming forward to take their places know it only by tradition.
It makes a definite break in the history of our literature, and a number
of new literary schools and tendencies have appeared since its close.  As
to the literature of the war itself, it was largely the work of writers
who had already reached or passed middle age.  All of the more important
authors described in the last three chapters survived the Rebellion,
except Poe, who died in 1849, Prescott, who died in 1859, and Thoreau and
Hawthorne, who died in the second and fourth years of the war,
respectively.  The final and authoritative history of the struggle has
not yet been written, and cannot be written for many years to come.  Many
partial and tentative accounts have, however, appeared, among which may
be mentioned, on the northern side, {555} Horace Greeley's _American
Conflict_, 1864-66; Vice-president Wilson's _Rise and Fall of the Slave
Power in America_, and J. W. Draper's _American Civil War_, 1868-70; on
the southern side Alexander H. Stephens's _Confederate States of
America_, Jefferson Davis's _Rise and Fall of the Confederate States of
America_, and E. A. Pollard's _Lost Cause_.  These, with the exception of
Dr. Draper's philosophical narrative, have the advantage of being the
work of actors in the political or military events which they describe,
and the disadvantage of being, therefore, partisan--in some instances
passionately partisan.  A storehouse of materials for the coming
historian is also at hand in Frank Moore's great collection, the
_Rebellion Record_; in numerous regimental histories and histories of
special armies, departments, and battles, like W. Swinton's _Army of the
Potomac_; in the autobiographies and recollections of Grant and Sherman
and other military leaders; in the "war papers," now publishing in the
_Century_ magazine, and in innumerable sketches and reminiscences by
officers and privates on both sides.

The war had its poetry, its humors and its general literature, some of
which have been mentioned in connection with Whittier, Lowell, Holmes,
Whitman, and others; and some of which remain to be mentioned, as the
work of new writers, or of writers who had previously made little mark.
There were war songs on both sides, few of which had much literary value
excepting, perhaps, James {556} R. Randall's southern ballad, _Maryland,
My Maryland_, sung to the old college air of _Lauriger Horatius_, and the
grand martial chorus of _John Brown's Body_, an old Methodist hymn, to
which the northern armies beat time as they went "marching on."
Randall's song, though spirited, was marred by its fire-eating
absurdities about "vandals" and "minions" and "northern scum," the cheap
insults of the southern newspaper press.  To furnish the _John Brown_
chorus with words worthy of the music, Mrs. Julia Ward Howe wrote her
_Battle Hymn of the Republic_, a noble poem, but rather too fine and
literary for a song, and so never fully accepted by the soldiers.  Among
the many verses which voiced the anguish and the patriotism of that stern
time, which told of partings and homecomings, of women waiting by
desolate hearths, in country homes, for tidings of husbands and sons who
had gone to the war, or which celebrated individual deeds of heroism or
sang the thousand private tragedies and heart-breaks of the great
conflict, by far the greater number were of too humble a grade to survive
the feeling of the hour.  Among the best or the most popular of them were
Kate Putnam Osgood's _Driving Home the Cows_, Mrs. Ethel Lynn Beers's
_All Quiet Along the Potomac_, Forceythe Willson's _Old Sergeant_, and
John James Piatt's _Riding to Vote_.  Of the poets whom the war brought
out, or developed, the most noteworthy were Henry Timrod, of South
Carolina, and Henry Howard Brownell, of Connecticut.  During the {557}
war Timrod was with the Confederate Army of the West, as correspondent
for the _Charleston Mercury_, and in 1864 he became assistant editor of
the _South Carolinian_, at Columbia.  Sherman's "march to the sea" broke
up his business, and he returned to Charleston.  A complete edition of
his poems was published in 1873, six years after his death.  The
prettiest of all Timrod's poems is _Katie_, but more to our present
purpose are _Charleston_--written in the time of blockade--and the
_Unknown Dead_, which tells

  "Of nameless graves on battle plains,
  Wash'd by a single winter's rains,
  Where, some beneath Virginian hills,
  And some by green Atlantic rills,
  Some by the waters of the West,
  A myriad unknown heroes rest."

When the war was over a poet of New York State, F. M. Finch, sang of
these and of other graves in his beautiful Decoration Day lyric, _The
Blue and the Gray_, which spoke the word of reconciliation and
consecration for North and South alike.

Brownell, whose _Lyrics of a Day_ and _War Lyrics_ were published
respectively in 1864 and 1866, was private secretary to Farragut, on
whose flag-ship, the _Hartford_, he was present at several great naval
engagements, such as the "Passage of the Forts" below New Orleans, and
the action off Mobile, described in his poem, the _Bay Fight_.  {558}
With some roughness and unevenness of execution, Brownell's poetry had a
fire which places him next to Whittier as the Koerner of the civil war.
In him, especially, as in Whittier, is that Puritan sense of the
righteousness of his cause which made the battle for the Union a holy war
to the crusaders against slavery:

  "Full red the furnace fires must glow
    That melt the ore of mortal kind:
  The mills of God are grinding slow,
    But ah, how close they grind!

  "To-day the Dahlgren and the drum
    Are dread apostles of his name;
  His kingdom here can only come
    By chrism of blood and flame."

One of the earliest martyrs of the war was Theodore Winthrop, hardly
known as a writer until the publication in the _Atlantic Monthly_ of his
vivid sketches of _Washington as a Camp_, describing the march of his
regiment, the famous New York Seventh, and its first quarters in the
Capitol at Washington.  A tragic interest was given to these papers by
Winthrop's gallant death in the action of Big Bethel, June 10, 1861.
While this was still fresh in public recollection his manuscript novels
were published, together with a collection of his stories and sketches
reprinted from the magazines.  His novels, though in parts crude and
immature, have a dash and buoyancy--an out-door air about them--which
give the reader a winning impression {559} of Winthrop's personality.
The best of them is, perhaps, _Cecil Dreeme_, a romance that reminds one
a little of Hawthorne, and the scene of which is the New York University
building on Washington Square, a locality that has been further
celebrated in Henry James's novel of _Washington Square_.

Another member of this same Seventh Regiment, Fitz James O'Brien, an
Irishman by birth, who died at Baltimore, in 1862, from the effects of a
wound received in a cavalry skirmish, had contributed to the magazines a
number of poems and of brilliant though fantastic tales, among which the
_Diamond Lens_ and _What Was It?_ had something of Edgar A. Poe's
quality.  Another Irish-American, Charles G. Halpine, under the pen-name
of "Miles O'Reilly," wrote a good many clever ballads of the war, partly
serious and partly in comic brogue.  Prose writers of note furnished the
magazines with narratives of their experience at the seat of war, among
papers of which kind may be mentioned Dr. Holmes's _My Search for the
Captain_, in the _Atlantic Monthly_, and Colonel T. W. Higginson's _Army
Life in a Black Regiment_, collected into a volume in 1870.

Of the public oratory of the war the foremost example is the
ever-memorable address of Abraham Lincoln at the dedication of the
National Cemetery at Gettysburg.  The war had brought the nation to its
intellectual majority.  In the stress of that terrible fight there was no
room for {560} buncombe and verbiage, such as the newspapers and
stump-speakers used to dole out in _ante bellum_ days.  Lincoln's speech
is short--a few grave words which he turned aside for a moment to speak
in the midst of his task of saving the country.  The speech is simple,
naked of figures, every sentence impressed with a sense of responsibility
for the work yet to be done and with a stern determination to do it.  "In
a larger sense," it says, "we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we
cannot hallow this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled
here have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.  The
world will little note nor long remember what we say here, but it can
never forget what they did here.  It is for us, the living, rather to be
dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have
thus far so nobly advanced.  It is rather for us to be here dedicated to
the great task remaining before us; that from these honored dead we take
increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full
measure of devotion; that we here highly resolve that these dead shall
not have died in vain: that this nation, under God, shall have a new
birth of freedom; and that government of the people, by the people, for
the people, shall not perish from the earth."  Here was eloquence of a
different sort from the sonorous perorations of Webster or the polished
climaxes of Everett.  As we read the plain, strong language of this brief
classic, with its solemnity, its restraint, {561} its "brave old wisdom
of sincerity," we seem to see the president's homely features irradiated
with the light of coming martyrdom--

  "The kindly-earnest, brave, foreseeing man,
    Sagacious, patient, dreading praise, not blame,
  New birth of our new soil, the first American."

Within the past quarter of a century the popular school of American humor
has reached its culmination.  Every man of genius who is a humorist at
all is so in a way peculiar to himself.  There is no lack of
individuality in the humor of Irving and Hawthorne and the wit of Holmes
and Lowell, but although they are new in subject and application they are
not new in kind.  Irving, as we have seen, was the literary descendant of
Addison.  The character sketches in _Bracebridge Hall_ are of the same
family with Sir Roger de Coverley and the other figures of the Spectator
Club.  _Knickerbocker's History of New York_, though purely American in
its matter, is not distinctly American in its method, which is akin to
the mock heroic of Fielding and the irony of Swift in the _Voyage to
Lilliput_.  Irving's humor, like that of all the great English humorists,
had its root in the perception of character--of the characteristic traits
of men and classes of men, as ground of amusement.  It depended for its
effect, therefore, upon its truthfulness, its dramatic insight and
sympathy, as did the humor of Shakspere, of Sterne, Lamb, and Thackeray.
This perception of the characteristic, {562} when pushed to excess,
issues in grotesque and caricature, as in some of Dickens's inferior
creations, which are little more than personified single tricks of
manner, speech, feature, or dress.  Hawthorne's rare humor differed from
Irving's in temper but not in substance, and belonged, like Irving's, to
the English variety.  Dr. Holmes's more pronouncedly comic verse does not
differ specifically from the _facetiae_ of Thomas Hood, but his prominent
trait is wit, which is the laughter of the head as humor is of the heart.
The same is true, with qualifications, of Lowell, whose _Biglow Papers_,
though humor of an original sort in their revelation of Yankee character,
are essentially satirical.  It is the cleverness, the shrewdness of the
hits in the _Biglow Papers_, their logical, that is, _witty_ character,
as distinguished from their drollery, that arrests the attention.  They
are funny, but they are not so funny as they are smart.  In all these
writers humor was blent with more serious qualities, which gave fineness
and literary value to their humorous writings.  Their view of life was
not exclusively comic.  But there has been a class of jesters, of
professional humorists in America, whose product is so indigenous, so
different, if not in essence, yet at least in form and expression, from
any European humor, that it may be regarded as a unique addition to the
comic literature of the world.  It has been accepted as such in England,
where Artemus Ward and Mark Twain are familiar to multitudes who have
never read the _One-Hoss-Shay_ or the _Courtin'_.  And though it {563}
would be ridiculous to maintain that either of these writers takes rank
with Lowell and Holmes, or to deny that there is an amount of flatness
and coarseness in many of their labored fooleries which puts large
portions of their writings below the line where real literature begins,
still it will not do to ignore them as mere buffoons, or even to predict
that their humors will soon be forgotten.  It is true that no literary
fashion is more subject to change than the fashion of a jest, and that
jokes that make one generation laugh seem insipid to the next.  But there
is something perennial in the fun of Rabelais, whom Bacon called "the
great jester of France;" and though the puns of Shakspere's clowns are
detestable the clowns themselves have not lost their power to amuse.

The Americans are not a gay people, but they are fond of a joke.
Lincoln's "little stories" were characteristically Western, and it is
doubtful whether he was more endeared to the masses by his solid virtues
than by the humorous perception which made him one of them.  The humor of
which we are speaking now is a strictly popular and national possession.
Though America has never, or not until lately, had a comic paper ranking
with _Punch_ or _Charivari_ or the _Fliegende Blaetter_, every newspaper
has had its funny column.  Our humorists have been graduated from the
journalist's desk and sometimes from the printing-press, and now and then
a local or country newspaper has risen into sudden prosperity from the
possession of a {564} new humorist, as in the case of G. D. Prentice's
_Courier-Journal_, or more recently of the _Cleveland Plain Dealer_, the
_Danbury News_, the _Burlington Hawkeye_, the _Arkansaw Traveller_, the
_Texas Siftings_ and numerous others.  Nowadays there are even syndicates
of humorists, who co-operate to supply fun for certain groups of
periodicals.  Of course the great majority of these manufacturers of
jests for newspapers and comic almanacs are doomed to swift oblivion.
But it is not so certain that the best of the class, like Clemens and
Browne, will not long continue to be read as illustrative of one side of
the American mind, or that their best things will not survive as long as
the mots of Sydney Smith, which are still as current as ever.  One of the
earliest of them was Seba Smith, who, under the name of Major Jack
Downing, did his best to make Jackson's administration ridiculous.  B. P.
Shillaber's "Mrs. Partington"--a sort of American Mrs. Malaprop--enjoyed
great vogue before the war.  Of a somewhat higher kind were the
_Phoenixiana_, 1855, and _Squibob Papers_, 1856, of Lieutenant George H.
Derby, "John Phoenix," one of the pioneers of literature on the Pacific
coast at the time of the California gold fever of '49.  Derby's proposal
for _A New System of English Grammar_, his satirical account of the
topographical survey of the two miles of road between San Francisco and
the Mission Dolores, and his picture gallery made out of the conventional
houses, steam-boats, rail-cars, runaway negroes {565} and other designs
which used to figure in the advertising columns of the newspapers, were
all very ingenious and clever.  But all these pale before Artemus
Ward--"Artemus the delicious," as Charles Reade called him--who first
secured for this peculiarly American type of humor a hearing and
reception abroad.  Ever since the invention of Hosea Biglow, an imaginary
personage of some sort, under cover of whom the author might conceal his
own identity, has seemed a necessity to our humorists.  Artemus Ward was
a traveling showman who went about the country exhibiting a collection of
wax "figgers" and whose experiences and reflections were reported in
grammar and spelling of a most ingeniously eccentric kind.  His inventor
was Charles F. Browne, originally of Maine, a printer by trade and
afterward a newspaper writer and editor at Boston, Toledo and Cleveland,
where his comicalities in the _Plaindealer_ first began to attract
notice.  In 1860 he came to New York and joined the staff of _Vanity
Fair_, a comic weekly of much brightness, which ran a short career and
perished for want of capital.  When Browne began to appear as a public
lecturer people who had formed an idea of him from his impersonation of
the shrewd and vulgar old showman were surprised to find him a
gentlemanly-looking young man, who came upon the platform in correct
evening dress, and "spoke his piece" in a quiet and somewhat mournful
manner, stopping in apparent surprise when any one in the {566} audience
laughed at any uncommonly outrageous absurdity.  In London, where he
delivered his _Lecture on the Mormons_, in 1866, the gravity of his
bearing at first imposed upon his hearers, who had come to the hall in
search of instructive information and were disappointed at the inadequate
nature of the panorama which Browne had had made to illustrate his
lecture.  Occasionally some hitch would occur in the machinery of this
and the lecturer would leave the rostrum for a few moments to "work the
moon" that shone upon the Great Salt Lake, apologizing on his return on
the ground that he was "a man short" and offering "to pay a good salary
to any respectable boy of good parentage and education who is a good
moonist."  When it gradually dawned upon the British intellect that these
and similar devices of the lecturer--such as the soft music which he had
the pianist play at pathetic passages--nay, that the panorama and even
the lecture itself were of a humorous intention, the joke began to take,
and Artemus's success in England became assured.  He was employed as one
of the editors of _Punch_, but died at Southampton in the year following.

Some of Artemus Ward's effects were produced by cacography or bad
spelling, but there was genius in the wildly erratic way in which he
handled even this rather low order of humor.  It is a curious commentary
on the wretchedness of our English orthography that the phonetic spelling
of a word, as for example, _wuz_ for _was_, should be {567} in itself an
occasion of mirth.  Other verbal effects of a different kind were among
his devices, as in the passage where the seventeen widows of a deceased
Mormon offered themselves to Artemus.

"And I said, 'Why is this thus?  What is the reason of this thusness?'
They hove a sigh--seventeen sighs of different size.  They said--

"'O, soon thou will be gonested away.'

"I told them that when I got ready to leave a place I wentested.'

"They said, 'Doth not like us?'

"I said, 'I doth--I doth.'

"I also said, 'I hope your intentions are honorable, as I am a lone
child--my parents being far--far away.'

"They then said, 'Wilt not marry us?'

"I said, 'O no, it cannot was.'

"When they cried, 'O cruel man! this is too much!--O! too much,' I told
them that it was on account of the muchness that I declined."

It is hard to define the difference between the humor of one writer and
another, or of one nation and another.  It can be felt and can be
illustrated by quoting examples, but scarcely described in general terms.
It has been said of that class of American humorists of which Artemus
Ward is a representative that their peculiarity consists in extravagance,
surprise, audacity and irreverence.  But all these qualities have
characterized other schools of humor.  There is the same element of
surprise in De Quincey's {568} anticlimax, "Many a man has dated his ruin
from some murder or other which, perhaps, at the time he thought little
of," as in Artemus's truism that "a comic paper ought to publish a joke
now and then."  The violation of logic which makes us laugh at an Irish
bull is likewise the source of the humor in Artemus's saying of Jeff
Davis, that "it would have been better than ten dollars in his pocket if
he had never been born."  Or in his advice, "Always live within your
income, even if you have to borrow money to do so;" or, again, in his
announcement that, "Mr. Ward will pay no debts of his own contracting."
A kind of ludicrous confusion, caused by an unusual collocation of words,
is also one of his favorite tricks, as when he says of Brigham Young,
"He's the most married man I ever saw in my life;" or when, having been
drafted at several hundred different places where he had been exhibiting
his wax figures, he says that if he went on he should soon become a
regiment, and adds, "I never knew that there was so many of me."  With
this a whimsical under-statement and an affectation of simplicity, as
where he expresses his willingness to sacrifice "even his wife's
relations" on the altar of patriotism; or, where, in delightful
unconsciousness of his own sins against orthography, he pronounces that
"Chaucer was a great poet, but he couldn't spell," or where he says of
the feast of raw dog, tendered him by the Indian chief, Wocky-bocky, "It
don't agree with me.  I prefer simple food."  On the {569} whole, it may
be said of original humor of this kind, as of other forms of originality
in literature, that the elements of it are old, but the combinations are
novel.  Other humorists, like Henry W. Shaw ("Josh Billings"), and David
R. Locke, ("Petroleum V. Nasby"), have used bad spelling as a part of
their machinery; while Robert H. Newell, ("Orpheus C. Kerr"), Samuel L.
Clemens, ("Mark Twain"), and more recently "Bill Nye," though belonging
to the same school of low or broad comedy, have discarded cacography.  Of
these the most eminent, by all odds, is Mark Twain, who has probably made
more people laugh than any other living writer.  A Missourian by birth
(1835), he served the usual apprenticeship at type-setting and editing
country newspapers; spent seven years as a pilot on a Mississippi
steam-boat, and seven years more mining and journalizing in Nevada, where
he conducted the Virginia City _Enterprise_, finally drifted to San
Francisco, and was associated with Bret Harte on the _Californian_, and
in 1867 published his first book, the _Jumping Frog_.  This was succeeded
by the _Innocents Abroad_, 1869; _Roughing It_, 1872; _A Tramp Abroad_,
1880, and by others not so good.

Mark Twain's drolleries have frequently the same air of innocence and
surprise as Artemus Ward's, and there is a like suddenness in his turns
of expression, as where he speaks of "the calm confidence of a Christian
with four aces."  If he did not originate, he at any rate employed very
{570} effectively that now familiar device of the newspaper "funny man,"
of putting a painful situation euphemistically, as when he says of a man
who was hanged that he "received injuries which terminated in his death."
He uses to the full extent the American humorist's favorite resources of
exaggeration and irreverence.  An instance of the former quality may be
seen in his famous description of a dog chasing a coyote, in _Roughing
It_, or in his interview with the lightning-rod agent in _Mark Twain's
Sketches_, 1875.  He is a shrewd observer, and his humor has a more
satirical side than Artemus Ward's, sometimes passing into downright
denunciation.  He delights particularly in ridiculing sentimental humbug
and moralizing cant.  He runs a tilt, as has been said, at "copy-book
texts," at the temperance reformer, the tract distributor, the Good Boy
of Sunday-school literature, and the women who send bouquets and
sympathetic letters to interesting criminals.  He gives a ludicrous turn
to famous historical anecdotes, such as the story of George Washington
and his little hatchet; burlesques the time-honored adventure, in
nautical romances, of the starving crew casting lots in the long boat,
and spoils the dignity of antiquity by modern trivialities, saying of a
discontented sailor on Columbus's ship, "He wanted fresh shad."  The fun
of _Innocents Abroad_ consists in this irreverent application of modern,
common sense, utilitarian, democratic standards to the memorable places
and historic associations of {571} Europe.  Tried by this test the Old
Masters in the picture galleries become laughable.  Abelard was a
precious scoundrel, and the raptures of the guide books are parodied
without mercy.  The tourist weeps at the grave of Adam.  At Genoa he
drives the cicerone to despair by pretending never to have heard of
Christopher Columbus, and inquiring innocently, "Is he dead?"  It is
Europe vulgarized and stripped of its illusions--Europe seen by a Western
newspaper reporter without any "historic imagination."

The method of this whole class of humorists is the opposite of Addison's
or Irving's or Thackeray's.  It does not amuse by the perception of the
characteristic.  It is not founded upon truth, but upon  incongruity,
distortion, unexpectedness.  Everything in life is reversed, as in opera
bouffe, and turned topsy turvy, so that paradox takes the place of the
natural order of things.  Nevertheless they have supplied a wholesome
criticism upon sentimental excesses, and the world is in their debt for
many a hearty laugh.

In the _Atlantic Monthly_ for December, 1863, appeared a tale entitled
the _Man Without a Country_, which made a great sensation, and did much
to strengthen patriotic feeling in one of the darkest hours of the
nation's history.  It was the story of one Philip Nolan, an army officer,
whose head had been turned by Aaron Burr, and who, having been censured
by a court-martial for some minor offense, exclaimed, petulantly, upon
{572} mention being made of the United States Government, "Damn the
United States!  I wish that I might never hear the United States
mentioned again."  Thereupon he was sentenced to have his wish, and was
kept all his life aboard the vessels of the navy, being sent off on long
voyages and transferred from ship to ship, with orders to those in charge
that his country and its concerns should never be spoken of in his
presence.  Such an air of reality, was given to the narrative by
incidental references to actual persons and occurrences that many
believed it true, and some were found who remembered Philip Nolan, but
had heard different versions of his career.  The author of this clever
hoax--if hoax it may be called--was Edward Everett Hale, a Unitarian
clergyman of Boston, who published a collection of stories in 1868, under
the fantastic title, _If, Yes, and Perhaps_, indicating thereby that some
of the tales were possible, some of them probable, and others might even
be regarded as essentially true.  A similar collection, _His Level Best
and Other Stories_ was published in 1873, and in the interval three
volumes of a somewhat different kind, the _Ingham Papers_ and _Sybaris
and Other Homes_, both in 1869, and _Ten Times One Is Ten_, in 1871.  The
author shelters himself behind the imaginary figure of Captain Frederic
Ingham, pastor of the Sandemanian Church at Naguadavick, and the same
characters have a way of re-appearing in his successive volumes as old
friends of the reader, which is pleasant at first, but in the end a {573}
little tiresome.  Mr. Hale is one of the most original and ingenious of
American story writers.  The old device of making wildly improbable
inventions appear like fact by a realistic treatment of details--a device
employed by Swift and Edgar Poe, and more lately by Jules Verne--became
quite fresh and novel in his hands, and was managed with a humor all his
own.  Some of his best stories are _My Double and How He Undid Me_,
describing how a busy clergyman found an Irishman who looked so much like
himself that he trained him to pass as his duplicate, and sent him to do
duty in his stead at public meetings, dinners, etc., thereby escaping
bores and getting time for real work; the _Brick Moon_, a story of a
projectile built and launched into space, to revolve in a fixed meridian
about the earth and serve mariners as a mark of longitude; the _Rag Man
and Rag Woman_, a tale of an impoverished couple who made a competence by
saving the pamphlets, advertisements, wedding cards, etc., that came to
them through the mail, and developing a paper business on that basis; and
the _Skeleton in the Closet_, which shows how the fate of the Southern
Confederacy was involved in the adventures of a certain hoop-skirt,
"built in the eclipse and rigged with curses dark."  Mr. Hale's
historical scholarship and his exact habit of mind have aided him in the
art of giving _vraisemblance_ to absurdities.  He is known in
philanthropy as well as in letters, and his tales have a cheerful, busy,
{574} practical way with them in consonance with his motto, "Look up and
not down, look forward and not back, look out and not in, and lend a

It is too soon to sum up the literary history of the last quarter of a
century.  The writers who have given it shape are still writing, and
their work is therefore incomplete.  But on the slightest review of it
two facts become manifest: first, that New England has lost its long
monopoly; and, secondly, that a marked feature of the period is the
growth of realistic fiction.  The electric tension of the atmosphere for
thirty years preceding the civil war, the storm and stress of great
public contests, and the intellectual stir produced by transcendentalism
seem to have been more favorable to poetry and literary idealism than
present conditions are.  At all events there are no new poets who rank
with Whittier, Longfellow, Lowell, and others of the elder generation,
although George H. Boker, in Philadelphia, R. H. Stoddard and E. C.
Stedman, in New York, and T. B. Aldrich, first in New York and afterward
in Boston, have written creditable verse; not to speak of younger
writers, whose work, however, for the most part, has been more
distinguished by delicacy of execution than by native impulse.  Mention
has been made of the establishment of _Harper's Monthly Magazine_, which,
under the conduct of its accomplished editor, George W. Curtis, has
provided the public with an abundance of good reading.  The {575} old
_Putnam's Monthly_, which ran from 1853 to 1858, and had a strong corps
of contributors, was revived in 1868, and continued by that name till
1870, when it was succeeded by _Scribner's Monthly_, under the editorship
of Dr. J. G. Holland, and this in 1881 by the _Century_, an efficient
rival of _Harper's_ in circulation, in literary excellence, and in the
beauty of its wood engraving, the American school of which art these two
great periodicals have done much to develop and encourage.  Another New
York monthly, the _Galaxy_, ran from 1866 to 1878, and was edited by
Richard Grant White.  During the present year a new _Scribner's Magazine_
has also taken the field.  The _Atlantic_, in Boston, and _Lippincott's_,
in Philadelphia, are no unworthy competitors with these for public favor.

During the forties began a new era of national expansion, somewhat
resembling that described in a former chapter, and, like that, bearing
fruit eventually in literature.  The cession of Florida to the United
States in 1845, and the annexation of Texas in the same year, were
followed by the purchase of California in 1847, and its admission as a
State in 1850.  In 1849 came the great rush to the California gold
fields.  San Francisco, at first a mere collection of tents and board
shanties, with a few adobe huts, grew with incredible rapidity into a
great city; the wicked and wonderful city apostrophized by Bret Harte in
his poem, _San Francisco_:


  "Serene, indifferent of Fate,
  Thou sittest at the Western Gate;
  Upon thy heights so lately won
  Still slant the banners of the sun. . . .
  I know thy cunning and thy greed,
  Thy hard, high lust and willful deed."

The adventurers of all lands and races who flocked to the Pacific coast
found there a motley state of society between civilization and savagery.
There were the relics of the old Mexican occupation, the Spanish
missions, with their Christianized Indians; the wild tribes of the
plains--Apaches, Utes, and Navajoes; the Chinese coolies and washermen,
all elements strange to the Atlantic seaboard and the States of the
interior.  The gold-hunters crossed, in stages or caravans, enormous
prairies, alkaline deserts dotted with sage brush and seamed by deep
canons, and passes through gigantic mountain ranges.  On the coast itself
nature was unfamiliar: the climate was sub-tropical; fruits and
vegetables grew to a mammoth size, corresponding to the enormous redwoods
in the Mariposa groves and the prodigious scale of the scenery in the
valley of the Yo Semite and the snow-capped peaks of the Sierras.  At
first there were few women, and the men led a wild, lawless existence in
the mining camps.  Hard upon the heels of the prospector followed the
dram-shop, the gambling-hell, and the dance-hall.  Every man carried his
"Colt," and looked out for his own life and his "claim."  Crime went
unpunished or was taken in hand, {577} when it got too rampant, by
vigilance committees.  In the diggings, shaggy frontiersmen and "pikes"
from Missouri mingled with the scum of eastern cities and with
broken-down business men and young college graduates seeking their
fortune.  Surveyors and geologists came of necessity, speculators in
mining stock and city lots set up their offices in the towns; later came
a sprinkling of school-teachers and ministers.  Fortunes were made in one
day and lost the next at poker or loo.  To-day the lucky miner who had
struck a good "lead" was drinking champagne out of pails and treating the
town; to-morrow he was "busted," and shouldered the pick for a new
onslaught upon his luck.  This strange, reckless life, was not without
fascination, and highly picturesque and dramatic elements were present in
it.  It was, as Bret Harte says, "an era replete with a certain heroic
Greek poetry," and sooner or later it was sure to find its poet.  During
the war California remained loyal to the Union, but was too far from the
seat of conflict to experience any serious disturbance, and went on
independently developing its own resources and becoming daily more
civilized.  By 1868 San Francisco had a literary magazine, the _Overland
Monthly_, which ran until 1875.  It had a decided local flavor, and the
vignette on its title-page was a happily chosen emblem, representing a
grizzly bear crossing a railway track.  In an early number of the
_Overland_ was a story entitled the _Luck of Roaring Camp_, by Francis
Bret Harte, a {578} native of Albany, N. Y., 1835, who had come to
California at the age of seventeen, in time to catch the unique aspects
of the life of the Forty-niners, before their vagabond communities had
settled down into the law-abiding society of the present day.  His first
contribution was followed by other stories and sketches of a similar
kind, such as the _Outcasts of Poker Flat_, _Miggles_, and _Tennessee's
Partner_, and by verses, serious and humorous, of which last, _Plain
Language from Truthful James_, better known as the _Heathen Chinee_, made
an immediate hit, and carried its author's name into every corner of the
English-speaking world.  In 1871 he published a collection of his tales,
another of his poems, and a volume of very clever parodies, _Condensed
Novels_, which rank with Thackeray's _Novels by Eminent Hands_.  Bret
Harte's California stories were vivid, highly-colored pictures of life in
the mining camps and raw towns of the Pacific coast.  The pathetic and
the grotesque went hand in hand in them, and the author aimed to show how
even in the desperate characters gathered together there--the fortune
hunters, gamblers, thieves, murderers, drunkards, and prostitutes--the
latent nobility of human nature asserted itself in acts of heroism,
magnanimity, self-sacrifice, and touching fidelity.  The same men who
cheated at cards and shot each another down with tipsy curses were
capable on occasion of the most romantic generosity and the most delicate
chivalry.  Critics were not wanting who held that, in the matter of
dialect {579} and manners and other details, the narrator was not true to
the facts.  This was a comparatively unimportant charge; but a more
serious question was the doubt whether his characters were essentially
true to human nature, whether the wild soil of revenge and greed and
dissolute living ever yields such flowers of devotion as blossom in
_Tennessee's Partner_ and the _Outcasts of Poker Flat_.  However this may
be, there is no question as to Harte's power as a narrator.  His short
stories are skillfully constructed and effectively told.  They never
drag, and are never overladen with description, reflection, or other

In his poems in dialect we find the same variety of types and
nationalities characteristic of the Pacific coast: the little Mexican
maiden, Pachita, in the old mission garden; the wicked Bill Nye, who
tries to cheat the Heathen Chinee at euchre and to rob Injin Dick of his
winning lottery ticket; the geological society on the Stanislaw who
settle their scientific debates with chunks of old red sandstone and the
skulls of mammoths; the unlucky Mr. Dow, who finally strikes gold while
digging a well, and builds a house with a "coopilow;" and Flynn, of
Virginia, who saves his "pard's" life, at the sacrifice of his own, by
holding up the timbers in the caving tunnel.  These poems are mostly in
monologue, like Browning's dramatic lyrics, exclamatory and abrupt in
style, and with a good deal of indicated action, as in _Jim_, where a
miner comes into a bar-room, looking for his old {580} chum, learns that
he is dead, and is just turning away to hide his emotion, when he
recognizes Jim in his informant:

  "Well, thar--Good-by--
  No more, sir--I--
  What's that you say?--
  Why, dern it!--sho!--
  No?  Yes!  By Jo!
  Sold!  Why, you limb;
  You ornery,
     Derned old
  Long-legged Jim!"

Bret Harte had many imitators, and not only did our newspaper poetry for
a number of years abound in the properties of Californian life, such as
gulches, placers, divides, etc., but writers further east applied his
method to other conditions.  Of these by far the most successful was John
Hay, a native of Indiana and private secretary to President Lincoln,
whose _Little Breeches_, _Jim Bludso_, and _Mystery of Gilgal_ have
rivaled Bret Harte's own verses in popularity.  In the last-named piece
the reader is given to feel that there is something rather cheerful and
humorous in a bar-room fight which results in "the gals that winter, as a
rule," going "alone to the singing school."  In the two former we have
heroes of the Bret Harte type, the same combination of superficial
wickedness with inherent loyalty and tenderness.  The profane farmer
{581} of the South-west, who "doesn't pan out on the prophets," and who
had taught his little son "to chaw terbacker, just to keep his milk-teeth
white," but who believes in God and the angels ever since the miraculous
recovery of the same little son when lost on the prairie in a blizzard;
and the unsaintly and bigamistic captain of the _Prairie Belle_, who died
like a hero, holding the nozzle of his burning boat against the bank

  "Till the last galoot's ashore."

The manners and dialect of other classes and sections of the country have
received abundant illustration of late years.  Edward Eggleston's
_Hoosier Schoolmaster_, 1871, and his other novels are pictures of rural
life in the early days of Indiana.  _Western Windows_, a volume of poems
by John James Piatt, another native of Indiana, had an unmistakable local
coloring.  Charles G. Leland, of Philadelphia, in his _Hans Breitmann_
ballads, in dialect, gave a humorous presentation of the German-American
element in the cities.  By the death, in 1881, of Sidney Lanier, a
Georgian by birth, the South lost a poet of rare promise, whose original
genius was somewhat hampered by his hesitation between two arts of
expression, music and verse, and by his effort to co-ordinate them.  His
_Science of English Verse_, 1880, was a most suggestive, though hardly
convincing, statement of that theory of their relation which he was
working out in his practice.  Some of his pieces, {582} like the _Mocking
Bird_ and the _Song of the Chattahoochie_, are the most
characteristically Southern poetry that has been written in America.
Joel Chandler Harris's _Uncle Remus_ stories, in Negro dialect, are
transcripts from the folk-lore of the plantations, while his collection
of stories, _At Teague Poteet's_, together with Miss Murfree's _In the
Tennessee Mountains_ and her other books have made the Northern public
familiar with the wild life of the "moonshiners," who distill illicit
whiskey in the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.
These tales are not only exciting in incident, but strong and fresh in
their delineations of character.  Their descriptions of mountain scenery
are also impressive, though, in the case of the last named writer,
frequently too prolonged.  George W. Cable's sketches of French Creole
life in New Orleans attracted attention by their freshness and quaintness
when published in the magazines and re-issued in book form as _Old Creole
Days_, in 1879.  His first regular novel, the _Grandissimes_, 1880, was
likewise a story of Creole life.  It had the same winning qualities as
his short stories and sketches, but was an advance upon them in dramatic
force, especially in the intensely tragic and powerfully told episode of
"Bras Coupe."  Mr. Cable has continued his studies of Louisiana types and
ways in his later books, but the _Grandissimes_ still remains his
master-piece.  All in all, he is, thus far, the most important literary
figure of the New South, and the justness and {583} delicacy of his
representations of life speak volumes for the sobering and refining
agency of the civil war in the States whose "cause" was "lost," but whose
true interests gained even more by the loss than did the interests of the
victorious North.

The four writers last mentioned have all come to the front within the
past eight or ten years, and, in accordance with the plan of this sketch,
receive here a mere passing notice.  It remains to close our review of
the literary history of the period since the war with a somewhat more
extended account of the two favorite novelists whose work has done more
than any thing else to shape the movement of recent fiction.  These are
Henry James, Jr., and William Dean Howells.  Their writings, though
dissimilar in some respects, are alike in this, that they are analytic in
method and realistic in spirit.  Cooper was a romancer pure and simple;
he wrote the romance of adventure and of external incident.  Hawthorne
went much deeper, and with a finer spiritual insight dealt with the real
passions of the heart and with men's inner experiences.  This he did with
truth and power; but, although himself a keen observer of whatever passed
before his eyes, he was not careful to secure a photographic fidelity to
the surface facts of speech, dress, manners, etc.  Thus the talk of his
characters is book talk, and not the actual language of the parlor or the
street, with its slang, its colloquial ease and the intonations and
shadings of phrase {584} and pronunciation which mark different sections
of the country and different grades of society.  His attempts at dialect,
for example, were of the slenderest kind.  His art is ideal, and his
romances certainly do not rank as novels of real life.  But with the
growth of a richer and more complicated society in America fiction has
grown more social and more minute in its observation.  It would not be
fair to classify the novels of James and Howells as the fiction of
manners merely; they are also the fiction of character, but they aim to
describe people not only as they are, in their inmost natures, but also
as they look and talk and dress.  They try to express character through
manners, which is the way in which it is most often expressed in the
daily existence of a conventional society.  It is a principle of realism
not to select exceptional persons or occurrences, but to take average men
and women and their average experiences.  The realists protest that the
moving incident is not their trade, and that the stories have all been
told.  They want no plot and no hero.  They will tell no rounded tale
with a _denouement_, in which all the parts are distributed, as in the
fifth act of an old-fashioned comedy; but they will take a transcript
from life and end when they get through, without informing the reader
what becomes of the characters.  And they will try to interest this
reader in "poor real life" with its "foolish face."  Their acknowledged
masters are Balzac, George Eliot, Turgenieff, and Anthony {585} Trollope,
and they regard novels as studies in sociology, honest reports of the
writer's impressions, which may not be without a certain scientific value

Mr. James's peculiar province is the international novel; a field which
he created for himself, but which he has occupied in company with
Howells, Mrs. Burnett, and many others.  He was born into the best
traditions of New England culture, his father being a resident of
Cambridge, and a forcible writer on philosophical subjects, and his
brother, William James, a professor in Harvard University.  The novelist
received most of his schooling in Europe, and has lived much abroad, with
the result that he has become half denationalized and has engrafted a
cosmopolitan indifference upon his Yankee inheritance.  This, indeed, has
constituted his opportunity.  A close observer and a conscientious
student of the literary art, he has added to his intellectual equipment
the advantage of a curious doubleness in his point of view.  He looks at
America with the eyes of a foreigner and at Europe with the eyes of an
American.  He has so far thrown himself out of relation with American
life that he describes a Boston horsecar or a New York hotel table with a
sort of amused wonder.  His starting-point was in criticism, and he has
always maintained the critical attitude.  He took up story-writing in
order to help himself, by practical experiment, in his chosen art of
literary criticism, and his volume on {586} _French Poets and Novelists_,
1878, is by no means the least valuable of his books.  His short stories
in the magazines were collected into a volume in 1875, with the title, _A
Passionate Pilgrim and Other Stories_.  One or two of these, as the _Last
of the Valerii_ and the _Madonna of the Future_, suggest Hawthorne, a
very unsympathetic study of whom James afterward contributed to the
"English Men of Letters" series.  But in the name-story of the collection
he was already in the line of his future development.  This is the story
of a middle-aged invalid American, who comes to England in search of
health, and finds, too late, in the mellow atmosphere of the mother
country, the repose and the congenial surroundings which he has all his
life been longing for in his raw America.  The pathos of his
self-analysis and his confession of failure is subtly imagined.  The
impressions which he and his far-away English kinsfolk make on one
another, their mutual attraction and repulsion, are described with that
delicate perception of national differences which makes the humor and
sometimes the tragedy of James's later books, like the _American_, _Daisy
Miller_, the _Europeans_, and _An International Episode_.  His first
novel was _Roderick Hudson_, 1876, not the most characteristic of his
fictions, but perhaps the most powerful in its grasp of elementary
passion.  The analytic method and the critical attitude have their
dangers in imaginative literature.  In proportion as this writer's
faculty of minute observation and his realistic objectivity {587} have
increased upon him, the uncomfortable coldness which is felt in his
youthful work has become actually disagreeable, and his art--growing
constantly finer and surer in matters of detail--has seemed to dwell more
and more in the region of mere manners and less in the higher realm of
character and passion.  In most of his writings the heart, somehow, is
left out.  We have seen that Irving, from his knowledge of England and
America, and his long residence in both countries, became the mediator
between the two great branches of the Anglo-Saxon race.  This he did by
the power of his sympathy with each.  Henry James has likewise
interpreted the two nations to one another in a subtler but less genial
fashion than Irving, and not through sympathy, but through contrast, by
bringing into relief the opposing ideals of life and society which have
developed under different institutions.  In his novel, the _American_,
1877, he has shown the actual misery which may result from the clashing
of opposed social systems.  In such clever sketches as _Daisy Miller_,
1879, the _Pension Beaurepas_, and _A Bundle of Letters_, he has
exhibited types of the American girl, the American business man, the
aesthetic feebling from Boston, and the Europeanized or would-be
denationalized American campaigners in the Old World, and has set forth
the ludicrous incongruities, perplexities, and misunderstandings which
result from contradictory standards of conventional morality and
behavior.  In the _Europeans_, 1879, and an {588} _International
Episode_, 1878, he has reversed the process, bringing Old Word
[Transcriber's note: World?] standards to the test of American ideas by
transferring his _dramatis personae_ to republican soil.  The last-named
of these illustrates how slender a plot realism requires for its
purposes.  It is nothing more than the history of an English girl of good
family who marries an American gentleman and undertakes to live in
America, but finds herself so uncomfortable in strange social conditions
that she returns to England for life, while, contrariwise, the heroine's
sister is so taken with the freedom of these very conditions that she
elopes with another American and "goes West."  James is a keen observer
of the physiognomy of cities as well as of men, and his _Portraits of
Places_, 1884, is among the most delightful contributions to the
literature of foreign travel.

Mr. Howells's writings are not without "international" touches.  In _A
Foregone Conclusion_ and the _Lady of the Aroostook_, and others of his
novels, the contrasted points of view in American and European life are
introduced, and especially those variations in feeling, custom, dialect,
etc., which make the modern Englishman and the modern American such
objects of curiosity to each other, and which have been dwelt upon of
late even unto satiety.  But in general he finds his subjects at home,
and if he does not know his own countrymen and countrywomen more
intimately than Mr. James, at least {589} he loves them better.  There is
a warmer sentiment in his fictions, too; his men are better fellows and
his women are more lovable.  Howells was born in Ohio.  His early life
was that of a western country editor.  In 1860 he published, jointly with
his friend Piatt, a book of verse--_Poems of Two Friends_.  In 1861 he
was sent as consul to Venice, and the literary results of his sojourn
there appeared in his sketches _Venetian Life_, 1865, and _Italian
Journeys_, 1867.  In 1871 he became editor of the _Atlantic Monthly_, and
in the same year published his _Suburban Sketches_.  All of these early
volumes showed a quick eye for the picturesque, an unusual power of
description, and humor of the most delicate quality; but as yet there was
little approach to narrative.  _Their Wedding Journey_ was a revelation
to the public of the interest that may lie in an ordinary bridal trip
across the State of New York, when a close and sympathetic observation is
brought to bear upon the characteristics of American life as it appears
at railway stations and hotels, on steam-boats and in the streets of very
commonplace towns.  _A Chance Acquaintance_, 1873, was Howells's first
novel, though even yet the story was set against a background of
travel--pictures, a holiday trip on the St. Lawrence and the Saguenay;
and descriptions of Quebec and the Falls of Montmorenci, etc., rather
predominated over the narrative.  Thus, gradually and by a natural
process, complete characters and realistic novels, such as _A Modern
{590} Instance_, 1882, and _Indian Summer_, evolved themselves from
truthful sketches of places and persons seen by the way.

The incompatibility existing between European and American views of life,
which makes the comedy or the tragedy of Henry James's international
fictions, is replaced in Howells's novels by the repulsion between
differing social grades in the same country.  The adjustment of these
subtle distinctions forms a part of the problem of life in all
complicated societies.  Thus in _A Chance Acquaintance_ the heroine is a
bright and pretty Western girl, who becomes engaged during a pleasure
tour to an irreproachable but offensively priggish young gentleman from
Boston, and the engagement is broken by her in consequence of an
unintended slight--the betrayal on the hero's part of a shade of
mortification when he and his betrothed are suddenly brought into the
presence of some fashionable ladies belonging to his own _monde_.  The
little comedy, _Out of the Question_, deals with this same adjustment of
social scales; and in many of Howells's other novels, such as _Silas
Lapham_ and the _Lady of the Aroostook_, one of the main motives may be
described to be the contact of the man who eats with his fork with the
man who eats with his knife, and the shock thereby ensuing.  In _Indian
Summer_ the complications arise from the difference in age between the
hero and heroine, and not from a difference in station or social
antecedents.  In all of these fictions the {591} misunderstandings come
from an incompatibility of manner rather than of character, and, if any
thing were to be objected to the probability of the story, it is that the
climax hinges on delicacies and subtleties which, in real life, when
there is opportunity for explanations, are readily brushed aside.  But in
_A Modern Instance_ Howells touched the deeper springs of action.  In
this, his strongest work, the catastrophe is brought about, as in George
Eliot's great novels, by the reaction of characters upon one another, and
the story is realistic in a higher sense than any mere study of manners
can be.  His nearest approach to romance is in the _Undiscovered
Country_, 1880, which deals with the Spiritualists and the Shakers, and
in its study of problems that hover on the borders of the supernatural,
in its out-of-the-way personages and adventures, and in a certain ideal
poetic flavor about the whole book, has a strong resemblance to
Hawthorne, especially to Hawthorne in the _Blithedale Romance_, where he
comes closer to common ground with other romancers.  It is interesting to
compare _Undiscovered Country_ with Henry James's _Bostonians_, the
latest and one of the cleverest of his fictions, which is likewise a
study of the clairvoyants, mediums, woman's rights' advocates, and all
varieties of cranks, reformers, and patrons of "causes," for whom Boston
has long been notorious.  A most unlovely race of people they become
under the cold scrutiny of Mr. James's cosmopolitan eyes, which see more
clearly the {592} charlatanism, narrow-mindedness, mistaken fanaticism,
morbid self-consciousness, disagreeable nervous intensity, and vulgar or
ridiculous outside peculiarities of the humanitarians, than the nobility
and moral enthusiasm which underlie the surface.

Howells is almost the only successful American dramatist, and this in the
field of parlor comedy.  His little farces, the _Elevator_, the
_Register_, the _Parlor Car_, etc., have a lightness and grace, with an
exquisitely absurd situation, which remind us more of the _Comedies et
Proverbes_ of Alfred de Musset, or the many agreeable dialogues and
monologues of the French domestic stage, than of any work of English or
American hands.  His softly ironical yet affectionate treatment of
feminine ways is especially admirable.  In his numerous types of sweetly
illogical, inconsistent, and inconsequent womanhood he has perpetuated
with a nicer art than Dickens what Thackeray calls "that great
discovery," Mrs. Nickleby.

1. Theodore Winthrop.  Life in the Open Air.  Cecil Dreeme.

2. Thomas Wentworth Higginson.  Life in a Black Regiment.

3. Poetry of the Civil War.  Edited by Richard Grant White.  New York:

4. Charles Farrar Browne.  Artemus Ward--His Book.  Lecture on the
Mormons.  Artemus Ward in London.


5. Samuel Langhorne Clemens.  The Jumping Frog.  Roughing It.  The
Mississippi Pilot.

6. Charles Godfrey Leland.  Hans Breitmann's Ballads.

7. Edward Everett Hale.  If, Yes, and Perhaps.  His Level Best and Other

8. Francis Bret Harte.  Outcasts of Poker Flat and Other Stories.
Condensed Novels.  Poems in Dialect.

9. Sidney Lanier.  Nirvana.  Resurrection.  The Harlequin of Dreams.
Song of the Chattahoochie.  The Mocking Bird.  The Stirrup-Cup.  Tampa
Robins.  The Bee.  The Revenge of Hamish.  The Ship of Earth.  The
Marshes of Glynn.  Sunrise.

10. Henry James, Jr.  A Passionate Pilgrim.  Roderick Hudson.  Daisy
Miller.  Pension Beaurepas.  A Bundle of Letters.  An International
Episode.  The Bostonians.  Portraits of Places.

11. William Dean Howells.  Their Wedding Journey.  Suburban Sketches.  A
Chance Acquaintance.  A Foregone Conclusion.  The Undiscovered Country.
A Modern Instance.

12. George W. Cable.  Old Creole Days.  Madam Delphine.  The Grandissimes.

13. Joel Chandler Harris.  Uncle Remus.  Mingo and Other Sketches.

14. Charles Egbert Craddock (Miss Murfree).  In the Tennessee Mountains.





The important field of theology and religion in America has yielded many
and rich additions to the storehouse of letters.

The _Bay Psalm Book_, published in Cambridge, Mass., in 1640, was the
first book printed in the English colonies in America.  Its leading
authors were Richard Mather (1596-1669), of Dorchester, father of
Increase and grandfather of the still more famous Cotton Mather, Thomas
Welde and John Eliot, both of Roxbury.  The book was a few years later
revised by Henry Dunster and passed through as many as twenty-seven
editions.  While it was both printed and used in England and Scotland by
dissenting churches, it was a constant companion in private and public
worship in the Calvinistic churches of the Colonies.

The early colonial writers on theology include Charles Chauncy
(1589-1672), the second president of Harvard College, who wrote a
treatise on _Justification_, Samuel Willard (1640-1707), whose _Complete
Body of Divinity_ was the first folio {595} publication in America;
Solomon Stoddard (1643-1729), whose most celebrated work was _The
Doctrine of Instituted Churches_, in which he advocated the converting
power of the Lord's Supper; Charles Chauncy (1705-1787), a great-grandson
of President Chauncy, celebrated as a stickler for great plainness in
writing and speech, and one of the founders of Universalism in New
England, whose _Seasonable Thoughts_ was in opposition to the preaching
of Whitefield; and Aaron Burr (1716-1757), father of the political
opponent and slayer of Alexander Hamilton, and author of _The Supreme
Deity of Our Lord Jesus Christ_.  James Blair (1656-1743), of Virginia,
the virtual founder and first president of William and Mary College,
wrote _Our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount_, containing one hundred and
seventeen sermons.  The two Tennents, Gilbert (1703-1764) and William
(1705-1777), Samuel Finley (1717-1764), and Samuel Davies (1723-1761)
were pulpit orators whose sermons still hold high rank in the homiletic

Others of the colonial period distinguished for their ability are: John
Davenport (1597-1670), of New Haven, author of _The Saint's Anchor Hold_;
Edward Johnson (died 1682), of Woburn, author of _The Wonder Working
Providence of Sion's Saviour in New England_; Jonathan Dickinson
(1688-1747), the first president of the College of New Jersey (Princeton
University), who published _Familiar Letters upon Important Subjects in
Religion_, Samuel Johnson (1696-1772), a {596} distinguished advocate of
Episcopacy in Connecticut; Thomas Clap (1703-1767), president of Yale
College, who was the author of the _Religious Condition of Colleges_;
Samuel Mather (1706-1785), a son of Cotton Mather, among whose works was
_An Attempt to Show that America was Known to the Ancients_; and Thomas
Chalkley (1675-1749), and John Woolman (1720-1772), both belonging to the
Friends, and whose _Journals_ are admirable specimens of the Quaker
spirit and simplicity.

Some of the leading writers on theology whose activity was greatest about
the time of the American Revolution are worthy of study.  They are John
Witherspoon (1722-1794) who, while he is better known as the sixth
president of the College of New Jersey and a political writer of the
Revolution, was also the author of _Ecclesiastical Characteristics_, a
satirical work aimed at the Moderate party of the Church of Scotland, and
written before he left that country for America; Charles Thomson
(1729-1824), who was for fifteen years the secretary of the Continental
Congress and published a _Translation of the Bible_; Elias Boudinot
(1740-1821), the first president of the American Bible Society and a
leading philanthropist of his time, who wrote _The Age of Revelation_, a
reply to Paine's _Age of Reason_; Nathan Strong (1748-1816), the editor
of _The Connecticut Evangelical Magazine_ and pastor of First Church,
Hartford; Isaac Backus (1724-1806), the author of the well-known _History
of New England with Particular {597} Reference to the Baptists_; Ezra
Stiles (1727-1795), president of Yale College, who published many
discourses and wrote _An Ecclesiastical History of New England_, which
was not completed and never published; William White (1748-1836), Bishop
of Pennsylvania for fifty years, who wrote several works on Episcopacy,
one of which was _Memoir of the Episcopal Church in the United States_;
and William Linn (1752-1808), who published sermons on the _Leading
Personages of Scripture History_.

Belonging also to the Revolutionary period these should be noted: Mather
Byles (1706-1788), a wit and punster of loyalist leanings, some of whose
sermons have been many times printed, and who was a kinsman of the
Mathers; Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1766), whose _Sermon on the Repeal of the
Stamp Act_ was the most famous of his stirring addresses on the political
issues already prominent at the time of his death; William Smith
(1727-1803), provost of the University of Pennsylvania, who was, not to
speak of his other works, the author of several meritorious sermons;
Samuel Seabury (1729-1796), the first Protestant Episcopal bishop and
author of two volumes of sermons; and Jacob Duche (1739-1798), rector of
Christ Church, Philadelphia, who abandoned the American cause, but whose
sermons were highly prized.

A quartet of those who gained distinction as writers on doctrine are:
Joseph Bellamy (1719-1790), an influential divine of the Edwardean
school, and author of _The True Religion {598} Delineated_; Samuel
Hopkins (1721-1803), the advocate of disinterested benevolence as a
cardinal principle of theology and author of _The System of Doctrines
Contained in Divine Revelation_; Jonathan Edwards the Younger
(1745-1801), president of Union College and author of several discourses,
the most celebrated of which are the three on the "Necessity of the
Atonement and its Consistency with Free Grace in Forgiveness" (these
sermons are the basis of what has since been named the Edwardean theory);
and Elhanan Winchester (1751-1797), the Universalist preacher, one of
whose chief works was _The Universal Restoration_.

In the earlier group of theological authorship of the present century, or
the national period, taking conspicuous place as doctrinal writers, are:
Nathaniel Emmons (1745-1840), one of the foremost of the New School of
Calvinistic theology, whose works on the important discussion lasting
through a half century are marked by a peculiar force and point; Samuel
Stanhope Smith (1750-1819), president of the College of New Jersey and
author of _Evidences of the Christian Religion_; his successor in office,
Ashbel Green (1762-1848), whose chief literary labor was bestowed on _The
Christian Advocate_, a religious monthly which he edited for twelve
years, and who wrote _Lectures on the Shorter Catechism_; Henry Ware
(1764-1845), the acknowledged head of the Unitarians prior to the
appearance of Channing, professor of divinity in Harvard, and author of
_Letters to Trinitarians and {599} Calvinists_; Leonard Woods
(1774-1854), professor in Andover for thirty-eight years, author of
several able books on the Unitarian controversy; and Wilbur Fisk
(1792-1839), the distinguished preacher and educator, and author of _The
Calvinistic Controversy_.

Other theological lights of the early years of the republic are also:
John Mitchell Mason (1770-1829), provost of Columbia College, later
president of Dickinson College, a prime mover in the founding of Union
Theological Seminary, and author of many sermons of a high order; Edward
Payson (1783-1827), whose sermons are noted for the same ardent
spirituality and beauty that marked his life and pastorate at Portland,
Me.; John Summerfield (1798-1825), a volume of whose strangely eloquent
sermons was published after his early death; Ebenezer Porter (1772-1834),
professor in Andover, whose _Lectures on Revivals of Religion_ are still
worthy of consultation; Eliphalet Nott (1773-1866), president of Union
College for sixty-two years, whose _Lectures on Temperance_ are accounted
among the best literature on that great reform; John Henry Hobart
(1775-1830), bishop of the diocese of New York, who was the author of
_Festivals and Fasts_, and one of the founders of the General Theological
Seminary in New York; Nathan Bangs (1778-1862), a leading Methodist
divine, who wrote a _History of the Methodist Episcopal Church_ and
_Errors of Hofkinsianism_; and Leonard {600} Withington (1789-1885),
author of _Solomon's Song Translated and Explained_, a valuable
exegetical work.

In a second group of leading writers on religion, coming nearer the
middle of the nineteenth century we find as doctrinal authors: Archibald
Alexander (1772-1851), author of _Evidences of Christianity_; Hosea
Ballou (1771-1852), the Universalist preacher and author of _An
Examination of the Doctrine of Future Retribution_; Nathaniel W. Taylor
(1786-1859), the author of _Lectures on the Moral Government of God_, in
which there is a marked divergence from the strict school of Calvinistic
theologians; Gardiner Spring (1785-1873), a tower of strength in the
pulpit of New York for over fifty years, and author of _The Bible Not of
Man_; Alexander Campbell (1788-1865), whose _Public Debates_ contain the
record of his distinguished career as a controversialist and mark the
formation of the religious society called Disciples of Christ; Robert J.
Breckenridge (1800-1871), whose work on _The Knowledge of God Objectively
and Subjectively Considered_ gave him great distinction; George W.
Bethune (1805-1862), who, besides several hymns, wrote _Lectures on the
Heidelberg Catechism_; and James H. Thornwell (1811-1862), of the
Southern Presbyterians, who left an able _Systematic Theology_.

Those whose works were of a more practical nature are: Samuel Miller
(1769-1850), whose most telling book was _Letters on Clerical Habits and
Manners_; Lyman Beecher (1775-1863), the {601} celebrated father of his
more celebrated son, and author of _Sermons on Temperance_; Thomas H.
Skinner (1791-1871), professor in Andover and later in Union Theological
Seminary, who wrote _Aids to Preaching and Hearing_, and translated and
edited Vinet's _Homiletics and Pastoral Theology_; Charles G. Finney
(1792-1875), of Oberlin, whose _Lectures on Revivals_ embody the
principles on which he himself conducted his celebrated evangelistic
labors; Francis Wayland (1796-1865), the Baptist divine and author of a
text-book on _Moral Science_, who also wrote _The Moral Dignity of the
Missionary Enterprise_; Ichabod S. Spencer (1798-1854), whose _Pastor's
Sketches_ have a perennial interest; Theodore Dwight Woolsey (1801-1889),
who, besides other books on the classics and law, published _The Religion
of the Present and the Future_; Bela Bates Edwards (1802-1852), of
Andover, whose chief work was that bestowed upon the _Quarterly
Observer_, later the _Biblical Repository_, and still later as editor of
_Bibliotheca Sacra_; James Waddell Alexander (1804-1859), author of
_Consolation; or, Discourses to the Suffering Children of God_; and
George B. Cheever (1807-1890), who wrote several popular books on
temperance, one being _Deacon Giles's Distillery_.

A group of noted writers whose books have special bearing on the Bible
are: Moses Stuart (1780-1852), the distinguished Hebraist and author of
several commentaries and of a Hebrew {602} Grammar, whose scholarship was
one of the chief attractions at Andover; Samuel H. Turner (1790-1861),
the distinguished commentator on Romans, Hebrews, Ephesians, and
Galatians; Edward Robinson (1794-1863), whose _Biblical Researches and
New Testament Lexicon_ mark him as one of the foremost scholars of the
century; George Bush (1796-1860), known chiefly as the author of
_Commentaries_ on the earlier parts of the Old Testament; Albert Barnes
(1798-1870), whose _Notes_ on the Scriptures still have a large place
among the more popular works of exegesis; Stephen Olin (1797-1851) and
John Price Durbin (1800-1876), both distinguished as educators and pulpit
orators of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who each wrote on travels in
Palestine and adjoining countries; William M. Thomson (1806-1894), the
missionary and author of _The Land and the Book_, a work of perpetual
value; Joseph Addison Alexander (1809-1860), the famous philologist and
author of valuable commentaries and a work on _New Testament Literature_;
and George Burgess (1809-1866), who wrote _The Book of Psalms in English

Those who employed their pens in the field of history are; William Meade
(1789-1862), author of _Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of
Virginia_; George Junkin (1790-1868), who wrote _The Vindication_, which
gives an account of the trial of Albert Barnes, from the Old School point
of view; William B. Sprague (1795-1876), whose _Annals {603} of the
American Pulpit_ form a lasting monument to his literary ability; Robert
Baird (1798-1863), author of _A View of Religion in America_; Francis L.
Hawks (1798-1866), who published the _History of the Protestant Episcopal
Church in Maryland and Virginia_; Morris J. Raphall (1798-1868), a
prolific Jewish writer, whose _Post-Biblical History of the Jews_ is a
valuable book; Thomas C. Upham (1799-1871), professor in Bowdoin College
and author of _Mental Philosophy_, who also wrote the _Life and Religious
Experience of Madame Guyon_; William H. Furness (1802-1896), long the
leader of Unitarians in Philadelphia, from whose imaginative pen came a
peculiar book, _A History of Jesus_; J. Daniel Rupp (born 1803), who
wrote a _History of the Religious Denominations in the United States_;
and Abel Stevens (1815-1897), author of _The History of Methodism_ and
also of a _History of the Methodist Episcopal Church_.

Asahel Nettleton (1784-1844), best known as an evangelist, published a
popular collection of _Village Hymns_.  Henry U. Onderdonk (1789-1858)
and John Henry Hopkins (1792-1868) each wrote on the Episcopacy.  Samuel
Hanson Cox (1793-1880), a vigorous and original preacher of the New
School Presbyterians, was the author of _Interviews Memorable and
Useful_.  Henry B. Bascom (1796-1850), whose _Sermons and Lectures_ were
of vigorous thought but florid style, was very popular for many years;
Nicholas Murray (1802-1861) under the _nom-de-plume_ of "Kirwan" {604}
wrote the celebrated _Letters_ to Archbishop Hughes on the Catholic
Question; and Edward Thomson (1810-1870), bishop of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, was author of _Moral and Religious Essays_, and other

Among the American singers of sacred lyrics are Samuel Davies
(1724-1761), Timothy Dwight.  (1752-1817), Mrs. Phoebe H. Brown
(1783-1861), Thomas Hastings (1784-1872), John Pierpont (1785-1866), Mrs.
Lydia H. Sigourney (1791-1865), William B. Tappan (1794-1849), William A.
Muhlenberg (1796-1877), George W. Doane (1799-1859), Ray Palmer
(1808-1887), Samuel F. Smith (1808-1895), Edmund H. Sears (1810-1876),
William Hunter (1811-1877), George Duffield (1818-1888), Arthur Cleveland
Coxe (1818-1896), Samuel Longfellow (1819-1892), and Alice (1820-1871)
and Phoebe Cary (1824-1871).

From the large number of writers of the latter half of this century whose
productions have been added to the treasures of thought for coming
generations and are worthy of generous attention we name: Charles Hodge
(1797-1878), known best by his _Systematic Theology_; and his son,
Archibald Alexander Hodge (1823-1886), author of _Outlines of Theology_;
Charles P. McIlvaine (1798-1873), whose _Evidences of Christianity_ are
widely known and read; Mark Hopkins (1802-1887), who gave the world _The
Law of Love and Love as a Law_; Edwards A. Park (born 1808), whose
leading work was on the _Atonement_; Albert {605} Taylor Bledsoe
(1809-1877), whose _Theodicy_ was his chief work; James McCosh
(1811-1894), whose later years were given to America, and whose
_Christianity and Positivism_ and _Religious Aspects of Evolution_ were
written in this country; Davis W. Clark (1812-1871), author of _Man All
Immortal_; John Miley (1813-1896), who was the author of a clear and able
_Systematic Theology_ of the Arminian type; Thomas O. Summers
(1812-1882), who was a prolific author and whose _Systematic Theology_
has been published since his death; and Lorenzo D. McCabe (1815-1897),
who wrote on the _Foreknowledge of God_.

Those who have devoted their talent to the exposition of the Scriptures
are: Thomas J. Conant (1802-1891), a biblical scholar and author of
_Historical Books of the Old Testament_; Daniel D. Whedon (1808-1885),
who wrote _Freedom of the Will_ and was the author of a valuable
_Commentary on the New Testament_; Horatio B. Hackett (1808-1875), whose
exegetical works on Acts, Philemon, and Philippians have great merit;
Tayler Lewis (1809-1877), the Nestor of classic linguistics, whose _Six
Days of Creation_ and the _Divine-Human in the Scriptures_ are among his
best books; Melanchthon W. Jacobus (1816-1876), whose _Commentaries on
the Gospels, Acts, and Genesis_ unite critical ability and popular style;
Ezra Abbot (1818-1884), author of a critical work on the _Authorship of
the Fourth Gospel_; Howard Crosby (1826-1891), the vigorous preacher and
{606} author of _The Seven Churches of Asia_; William M. Taylor
(1829-1895), whose works include excellent studies on several prominent
Bible characters--Moses, David, Daniel, and Joseph; Henry Martyn Harman
(1822-1897), the author of _An Introduction to the Study of the Holy
Scriptures;_ and Henry B. Ridgaway (1830-1895), who wrote _The Lord's
Land_, a work based on his personal observations during an Oriental tour.

Those who have treated historical themes include: Charles Elliot
(1792-1869), whose ablest work was _The Delineation of Roman
Catholicism_; Francis P. Kenrick (1797-1863), who, besides being the
author of a _Version of the Scriptures with Commentary_, also wrote a
work on _The Supremacy of the Pope_; Matthew Simpson (1810-1884), the
eloquent bishop, who wrote _A Cyclopaedia of Methodism_ and _A Hundred
Years of Methodism_; James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888), author of _The Ten
Great Religions of the World_; Henry B. Smith (1815-1877), whose _History
of the Church of Christ in Chronological Tables_ is much admired for its
conciseness, accuracy, and thoroughness; William H. Odenheimer
(1817-1879), author of _The Origin and Compilation of the Prayer Book_;
Philip Schaff (1819-1893), the author of a learned _History of the
Christian Church_ and _Creeds of Christendom_, and editor of the English
translation of _Lange's Commentary_; William G. T. Shedd (1820-1894),
who, besides other works, wrote _A History of Christian Doctrine_;
Charles Force Deems (1820-1893), who {607} wrote a work on _The Life of
Christ_; Henry Martyn Dexter (1821-1890), author of The
_Congregationalism of the Last Three Hundred Years_; George R. Crooks
(1822-1897), who, besides other labors in the field of the classics,
wrote _The Life of Bishop Matthew Simpson_; Charles Porterfield Krauth
(1823-1883), author of _The Conservative Reformation and its Theology_;
Holland N. McTyeire (1824-1889), whose chief literary work was _The
History of Methodism_; and John Gilmary Shea (1824-1892), who wrote many
books on early American history connected with the Indians, one being a
_History of the French and Spanish Missions among the Indian Tribes of
the United States_.

John McClintock (1814-1870), the scholarly Methodist divine and first
president of Drew Theological Seminary, left a monument to his name in
the great _Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical
Literature_ projected by him and his colaborer, James Strong (1822-1894),
who completed the herculean task and added yet other works, notably his
_Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible_.  Daniel Curry (1809-1887), the
keen editor and debater, has a gathered sheaf of his various addresses in
_Platform Papers_.  Austin Phelps (1820-1890) wrote _The Still Hour_ and
_The Theory of Preaching_, which are fine specimens of his thoughtful
work; and Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), the renowned preacher, left
_Sermons_ and _Addresses_, which still breathe the earnest and catholic
spirit of their cultured author.



  A Man's a Man for a' That, 220.
  Abbey, E. A., 146.
  Abbot, Ezra, 605.
  Abbot, George, 301.
  Abraham Lincoln, 502.
  Absalom and Ahitophel, 176.
  Acts and Monuments of these Latter and Perilous Days
    Touching Matters of the Church, 300.
  Adam Bede, 278, 279.
  Adams and Liberty, 389.
  Adams, John, 375, 383.
  Adams, John Quincy, 406, 423.
  Adams, Samuel, 366, 367, 368.
  Adams, Sarah Flower, 304.
  Addison, Joseph, 151, 173, 174, 181, 184, 187-189, 249,
    276, 280, 283, 303, 359, 362, 409, 561, 571.
  Adeline, 289.
  Adonais, 260, 261.
  Adventures of Five Hours, 173.
  Adventures of Gil Blas, 209.
  Adventures of Philip, The, 275.
  Advice to a Young Tradesman, 362.
  Ae Fond Kiss, 217.
  Aella, 197.
  Aeneid, 49, 60, 65.
  Aeschylus, 259, 262.
  After-dinner Poem, 491.
  After the Funeral, 501.
  Age of Reason, The, 378-380, 389, 596.
  Age of Revelation, The, 596.
  Ages, The, 515.
  Agincourt, 98.
  Aids to Preaching and Hearing, 601.
  Aids to Reflection, 237.
  Ainsworth, Henry, 305.
  Akenside, Mark, 194.
  Alarm to Unconverted Sinners, 306.
  Alastor, 258, 260.
  Albion's England, 97.
  Alchemist, The, 122.
  Alcott, A. B., 435, 449, 450.
  Aldrich, Thomas Bailey, 538, 574.
  Alexander and Campaspe, 103, 104.
  Alexander, Archibald, 600.
  Alexander, James Waddell, 601.
  Alexander, Joseph Addison, 602.
  Alexander's Feast, 176.
  Alford, Henry, 304, 313.
  Alfred the Great, 11, 13, 18, 60.
  Algerine Captive, The, 393.
  Algic Researches, 485.
  Alhambra, The, 408.
  All for Love, 168, 169.
  All Quiet Along the Potomac, 556.
  Alleine, Joseph, 306.
  Allen, Ethan. 378.
  All's Well that Ends Well, 114.
  Alnwick Castle, 417.
  Alsop, Richard, 382, 383.
  Althea, To, from Prison, 148.
  Amelia, 208.
  American, The, 586, 587.
  American Civil War, The, 555.
  American Conflict, The, 555.
  American Flag, The, 416.
  American Literature, Cyclopaedia of, 389, 407.
  American Monthly, The, 536.
  American Note Books, 437, 463, 465, 469, 482.
  American Scholar, The, 434, 449, 474.
  American Whig Review, 531.
  Ames, Fisher, 376, 377.
  Among My Books, 502.
  Amoretti, 94.
  Amyot, Jacques, 90.
  Analogy of Religion, 308.
  Anarchiad, The, 383.
  Anatomy of Melancholy, 136, 137, 349.
  Ancient Mariner, The, 227, 237, 238, 530.
  Ancren Riwle, 24.
  Andre, Major, 387.
  Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, 15.
  Annabel Lee, 531.
  Annals of Philadelphia, 484.
  Annals of the American Pulpit, 602.
  Annotations on the Psalms, 305.
  Annotations upon the Bible, 306.
  Annas Mirabilis, 176.
  Antiquary, The, 248.
  Antony and Cleopatra, 116, 168.
  Anselm, 13.
  Antiphon, England's, 162.
  Apologia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, 300.
  Apologia pro Vita Sua, 312.
  Apology for the True Christian Divinity, 307.
  Araby's Daughter, 256.
  Arcadia, 83, 123.
  Areopagitica, 155, 337.
  Argument against Abolishing Christianity, 191.
  Ariosto, Ludovico, 70, 72, 100, 244, 263.
  Aristotle, 101, 134.
  Aristophanes, 120.
  Arkansaw Traveller, The, 564.
  Army Life in a Black Regiment, 559.
  Army of the Potomac, 555.
  Arnold, Matthew, 24, 28, 233, 490, 502, 515, 546.
  Arnold, Thomas, 236.
  Ars Poetica, 173.
  Art of Book Making, 403.
  Art of English Poesy, 88.
  Art Poetique, L', 173.
  "Artemus Ward," 562, 565-569, 570.
  Arthur Mervyn, 394, 396.
  Arthur, King, 18, 20, 22, 24, 39, 57, 71, 157, 290,
    292.  Death of, 23, 50, 52, 75, 292.
  Artificial Comedy of the Last Century, 171, 244.
  As You Like It, 82, 89, 114, 115.
  Ascham, Roger, 51, 61, 62, 68, 142.
  Associations, Remarks on, 431.
  Astronomical Discourses, 311.
  Astrophel and Stella, 85, 94.
  At Teague Poteet's, 582.
  Athenae Oxonienses, 348.
  Atlantic Monthly, The, 492, 501, 511-513, 558, 559,
    571, 575, 589.
  Atlantis, 536.
  Atonement, The, 604.
  Attempt to Show that America was Known to the Ancients, 596.
  Atterbury, Francis, 307.
  Auber, Harriet, 304.
  Auf Wiedersehen, 501.
  Augusta, Stanzas to, 255.
  Auld, Farmer's New Year's Morning Salutation to
    his Auld Mare Maggie, The, 219.
  Auld Lang Syne, 219.
  Austen, Jane, 247.
  Authorship of the Fourth Gospel, The, 605.
  Autobiography, Franklin's, 347, 360, 362, 363,407.
  Autocrat of the Breakfast Table, 487, 493.
  Autumn, Longfellow's, 477.
  Autumn, Ode to, 263.
  Ayenbite of Inwyt, 24.
  Aylmer, John, 300.

  Backus, Isaac, 596.
  Backwoodsman, The, 405.
  Bacon, Francis, 86, 91, 92, 108, 123, 136, 280, 283, 563.
  Bailey, Harry, 36.
  Bailey, Nathan, 197.
  Baird, Robert, 603.
  Balade of Dead Ladies, 25.
  Balcony, In a, 297.
  Bale, John, 299.
  Ballad of the Oysterman, 488.
  Ballads, English and Scottish, 75.
  Ballads, Longfellow's, 479.
  Ballou, Hosea, 600.
  Baltimore Saturday Visitor, 535.
  Balzac, Honore de, 584.
  Bampton, John, 308.
  Bancroft, George, 475, 495, 504, 505, 506.
  Bandello, 89.
  Bangs, Nathan, 599.
  Banished Cavaliers, The, 170.
  Baptists, History of New England
    with Particular Reference to the, 596.
  Barbara Frietchie, 521.
  Barclay, Robert, 307.
  Bard, The, 176, 194, 201.
  Barlow, Joel, 378, 382, 383, 384-386.
  Barnaby Rudge, 529.
  Barnes, Albert, 602.
  Bascom, Henry B., 603.
  Baron's Wars, 97.
  Barrow, Isaac, 163, 305.
  Bartholomew Fair, 121, 165.
  Battle Field, The, 517,
  Battle Hymn of the Republic, 556.
  Battle of Hastings, 197.
  Battle of Otterbourne, 56.
  Battle of the Baltic, 249.
  Battle of the Kegs, 388.
  Baudelaire, Charles, 533.
  Baviad, 193, 223.
  Baxter, Richard, 136, 305.
  Bay Fight, The, 557.
  Bay Psalm Book, The, 337, 594.
  Beattie, James, 195, 198, 216, 386.
  Beaufort, Jane, 45.
  Beaumont, Francis, 94, 102, 110, 127, 128-133, 135, 171.
  Beauty, On, 70, 74.
  Beaux' Stratagem, The, 169, 392.
  Beckford, William, 394.
  Beddome, Benjamin, 303.
  Bedouin Song, 540.
  Beecher, Henry Ward, 545.
  Beecher, Lyman, 441, 545, 600.
  Beers, Ethel Lynn, 556.
  Beggar's Opera, 193.
  Behn, Mrs. Aphra, 170.
  Beleaguered City, The, 479, 483.
  Belfry of Bruges, The, 479, 481.
  Bellamy, Joseph, 597.
  Belle Dame Sans Merci, La, 263.
  Benson, Joseph, 310.
  Bentham, Jeremy, 285.
  Bentley, Richard, 163.
  Bentley's Miscellany, 269.
  Beowulf, 546.
  Beppo, 254.
  Berenice, 169.
  Berkeley, George, 358, 403.
  Bethune, George W., 600.
  Beverley, Robert, 332.
  Beveridge, William, 306.
  Bible, Challoner's Version of the, 309.
  Bible, Eliot's Indian, 337.
  Bible, Genevan Version of the, 300.
  Bible, History of the, 308.
  Bible, Introduction to the Literary History of the, 310.
  Bible Not of Man, The, 600.
  Bible, Translations of the, 32, 33, 63, 301, 309, 596.
  Biblical Literature, Cyclopaedia of, 312, 607.
  Biblical Repository, The, 601.
  Biblical Researches, 602.
  Bibliotheca Sacra, 601.
  Biglow Papers, The, 496, 497, 499, 500, 523, 562.
  "Bill Nye," 569.
  Bilson, Thomas, 301.
  Bingham, Joseph, 308.
  Biographia Literaria, 235, 236.
  Biographical History of Philosophy, 278.
  Biographical Sketches, De Quincey's, 240.
  Bishop Blougram's Apology, 296.
  Bishop, Orders his Tomb in St. Praxed's Church, The, 296.
  Black Cat, The, 532.
  Black Fox of Salmon River, The, 520.
  Blackwood's Magazine, 223, 224, 238, 278.
  Blair, Hugh, 309.
  Blair, James, 327, 595.
  Bleak House, 241, 268, 269, 270, 273, 280, 396.
  Bledsoe, Albert Taylor, 605.
  Blithedale Romance, The, 437, 468, 541, 591.
  Bloody Tenent of Persecution, The, 339.
  Bloody Tenent Washed, The, 339.
  Blot in the Scutcheon, A, 297.
  Blue and the Gray, The, 557.
  Boccaccio, Giovanni, 34, 36, 38, 43, 65, 67, 89, 178, 263.
  Bodmer, Johann J., 194.
  Boethius, 60.
  Boiardo, Matteo, 244.
  Boileau, Nicolas, 164, 173, 180, 183, 184, 225.
  Boke of the Duchesse, 35, 42.
  Boker, George H., 574.
  Bolingbroke, Lord, 182, 183, 299.
  Bonaparte, Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon, 312.
  Bonar, Horatius, 304.
  Book of Common Prayer, 63, 154, 301, 302.
  Book of Martyrs, 179, 300, 348.
  Book of Psalms in English Verse, 602.
  Boston Courier, 496.
  Boston Port Bill, Observations on the, 369.
  Bostonians, The, 591.
  Boswell, James, 202, 205.
  Bothie of Tober-na-Vuolich, 484.
  Boudinot, Elias, 596.
  Bourchlir, John, 51.
  Bowge of Courte, 52.
  Bowring, Sir John, 304.
  Boyle, Robert, 136, 163.
  Boys, John, 301.
  Boys, The, 489.
  Bracebridge Hall, 410, 412, 561.
  Bradford, William,  338, 342, 351, 353.
  Brady, Nicholas, 303.
  Brahma, 450, 455.
  Brainard, J. G. C., 519, 520, 544.
  Break, Break, Break, 291.
  Breckenridge, Robert J., 600.
  Brick Moon, The, 573.
  Bridal of Pennacook, 520, 523.
  Bride of Abydos, 250.
  Bride of Lammermoor, 248.
  Bridge, The, 481, 482.
  Bright, John, 522.
  Britannia's Pastorals, 94.
  British Churches, Antiquities of the, 306.
  British Empire in America, 332.
  Broadway Journal, 527.
  Broken Heart, The, 133, 413.
  Bronte, Charlotte, 267, 274.
  Brook, The, 290.
  Brooke, Arthur, 85.
  Brooks, Phillips, 607.
  Brother Jonathan, 512.
  Brougham, Henry, 223.
  Brown, Charles Brockden, 393-396.
  Brown, Mrs. Phoebe H., 604.
  Browne, Charles F., 564, 565-569.
  Browne, Sir Thomas, 90, 136, 137-139, 140, 144, 162,
    179, 341, 456.
  Browne, William, 94.
  Brownell, Henry Howard, 556, 557, 558.
  Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 215, 495.
  Browning, Robert, 259, 289, 290, 293-297, 522, 579.
  Brut d' Angleterre, 22.
  Bryant, William Cullen, 96, 400, 416, 477, 489,
    513-518, 527, 536
  Buccaneer, The, 429.
  Buchanan, Robert W., 547.
  Bugle Song, The, 291.
  Building of the Ship, The, 481.
  Bulkley, Peter, 346.
  Bulwer, Edward G., 512.
  Bund, Willis, 162.
  Bundle of Letters, A, 587.
  Bunyan, John, 31, 74, 179, 283, 305.
  Buerger, Gottfried A., 234, 246.
  Burgess, George, 602.
  Burke, Edmund, 203, 212, 224, 366, 377, 425.
  Burlington Hawkeye, The, 564.
  Burnet, Gilbert, 163, 307.
  Burnett, Mrs. Frances Hodgson, 585.
  Burns, Robert, 53, 212, 215-220, 232, 244, 256, 261, 284,
    488, 498, 519, 522.
  Burr, Aaron, 595.
  Burton, Robert, 136, 137, 243, 349, 409.
  Bush, George, 602.
  Bushnell, Horace, 442.
  Busybody Papers, 359, 380, 408.
  Butler, Alban, 309.
  Butler, Joseph, 308.
  Butler, Samuel, 165, 166, 381, 382.
  Butler, William Alken, 538.
  Byles, Mather, 597.
  Byrd, William, 331.
  Byrom, John, 303.
  Byron, George Gordon, 96, 193, 215, 222, 229, 231, 232,
    237, 242, 243, 249-256, 257, 258, 260, 262, 263, 386,
    406, 415.

  Cable, George W., 582, 583.
  Caedmon, 546.
  Cain, 251.
  Calamy, Edward, 304.
  Caleb Williams, 394.
  Calhoun, John C., 370, 424, 425.
  Caliban upon Setebos, 294.
  Californian, The, 569.
  Call to the Unconverted, 305.
  Calvinistic Controversy, The, 599.
  Cambridge Thirty Years Ago, 475.
  Camilla's Alarum to Slumbering Euphues, 82.
  Campaign, The, 189.
  Campbell, Alexander, 600,
  Campbell, Thomas, 249, 391.
  Canterbury Tales, 28, 31, 36-41, 43, 46, 174.
  Cape Cod, 458.
  Capgrave, John, 18.
  Captain Singleton, 205.
  Capture of Fugitive Slaves, The, 498.
  Caracteres, 92.
  Carew, Thomas, 146, 148, 149.
  Carlyle, Thomas, 202, 210, 216, 220, 225, 246, 248, 257,
    280, 283-288, 410, 427, 444, 448, 451, 453, 454, 499, 502.
  Cary, Alice, 542, 604.
  Cary, Phoebe, 542, 604.
  Cask of Amontillado, 532.
  Cassandra Southwick, 523.
  Castle of Indolence, 198.
  Castle of Otranto, 195, 248, 394.
  Casuistry of Roman Meals, 241.
  Catechism, Lectures on the Heidelberg, 600.
  Catechism, The Shorter, 302.
  Catechism, Lectures on the Shorter, 598.
  Cathedral, The, 503.
  Catiline, 117.
  Cato, 189.
  Catt, Jacob, 146.
  Catullus, 54, 60, 147, 174.
  Cavalier Tunes, 295.
  Caxton, William, 48, 49, 50, 52, 60.
  Cecil Dreeme, 559.
  Cenci, The, 258.
  Cennick, John, 303.
  Century Magazine, The, 511, 555, 575.
  Certain Condescension in Foreigners, On a, 499.
  Cervantes, M., 166, 209.
  Chalcondylas, Demetrius, 61.
  Chalkley, Thomas, 596.
  Challoner, Richard, 309.
  Chalmers, Thomas, 311.
  Chambered Nautilus, The, 490.
  Chance Acquaintance, A, 589, 590.
  Chances, The, 129.
  Channing, William Ellery, 396, 407, 429-432, 434, 440,
    442, 444, 452, 598.
  Channing, William E., Jr., 452, 457, 470.
  Channing, William H., 452.
  Chanson de Roland, 19, 70.
  Chapel of the Hermits, 522.
  Chapman, George, 95, 96, 97, 262.
  Character and Writings of John Milton, 431.
  Characteristics, Carlyle's, 284.
  Characters, Overbury's, 93.
  Charivari, 563.
  Charleston, 557.
  Charleston City Gazette, 536.
  Charleston Mercury, 557.
  Charnock, Stephen, 306.
  Chartism, 285.
  Chatterton, Thomas, 195, 196, 197, 198, 244.
  Chaucer, Geoffrey, 13, 28, 29, 33-46, 49, 50, 56,
    60, 65, 66, 67, 68, 95, 98, 174, 178, 195, 197,
    228, 263, 289, 501, 568.
  Chauncy, Charles, 595.
  Chauncy, Charles (President), 594, 595.
  Checks to Antinomianism, 310.
  Cheever, George B., 601.
  Cheke, Sir John, 61.
  Chesterfield, Lord, 183.
  Chevy Chase, 55, 56, 387.
  Childe Harold, 249, 253, 255.
  Children of Adam, 548.
  Chillingworth, William, 136, 304.
  Choate, Rufus, 428, 429.
  Christ, Divinity of, 308, 310.
  Christ, Life of, 607.
  Christ, Poems to, 27.
  Christabel, 235, 237, 238, 416, 530.
  Christian Advocate, The, 598.
  Christian Church, Antiquities of the, 308.
  Christian Church, History of the, 606.
  Christian Doctrine, History of, 606.
  Christian Examiner, 431.
  Christian Perfection, 309.
  Christian Psalmist, The, 304.
  Christian Religion, Evidences of the, 598.
  Christian Year, 145, 304.
  Christianity, A Practical View of, 311.
  Christianity and Positivism, 605.
  Christianity as Old as Creation, 308.
  Christianity, Evidences of, 600, 604.
  Christianity, History of, 312.
  Christmas Stories, 269.
  "Christopher North", 223.
  Christ's Passion, 300.
  Christ's Victory and Triumph, 159.
  Chronicle of England, 18, 90, 97.
  Chronicles of Froissart, 51.
  Church and State, 237.
  Church History, Fuller's, 33, 348.
  Church History of Britain, 139.
  Church of Christ, History of the, in Chronological Tables, 606.
  Church of England, History of the Reformation of the, 307.
  Church of Scotland, History of the, 299.
  Church of Scotland, History of the Sufferings of the, 308.
  Churches, Doctrine of Instituted, 595.
  Cibber, Colley, 183.
  Cicero, 49, 60, 117.
  Circular Letter to each Colonial Legislature, 368.
  City in the Sea, The, 528.
  Civil Wars, History of the, 97, 324.
  Clannesse, 28.
  Clap, Thomas, 596.
  Clara Howard, 394.
  Clarendon, Edward Hyde, 163.
  Clari, 422.
  Claribel, 289.
  Clarissa Harlowe, 205, 206.
  Clark, Davis W., 605.
  Clarke, Adam, 310.
  Clarke, James Freeman, 451, 452, 606.
  Clarke, Samuel, 307.
  Clay, Henry, 424, 425.
  Clemens, Samuel L., 564, 569.
  Clerical Habits and Manners, Letters on, 600.
  Cleveland, Henry R., 476.
  Cleveland Plain Dealer, 564, 565.
  Clough, Arthur Hugh, 484.
  Clown, The, 92.
  Coke, Thomas, 310.
  Coleridge, Henry N., 235.
  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, 117, 118, 129, 138, 207, 210,
    219, 222, 225, 226, 227, 233, 234-238, 239, 240, 243,
    255, 282, 406, 415, 416, 444, 530.
  Colet, John, 61, 64.
  Colin Clout's Come Home Again, 69.
  Colleges, Religious Condition of, 596.
  Collier, Jeremy, 172.
  Collins, Anthony, 360.
  Collins, Wilkie, 529.
  Collins, William, 194, 199, 200, 201, 205, 211, 244.
  Colombe's Birthday, 297.
  Colonel, The, 121.
  Columbiad, The, 384, 386.
  Columbus, Life of, 408, 414.
  Comedies et Proverbes, 592.
  Comedy of Errors, 104, 113.
  Comic Almanac, Cruikshank's, 273.
  Comic Dramatists of the Restoration, 192, 283.
  Committee, The, 170.
  Common Sense, 377.
  Companions of Columbus, 408.
  Complaint of the Decay of Beggars in the Metropolis, A, 244.
  Complaints, 70.
  Compleat Angler, The, 142, 162.
  Complete Body of Divinity, 594.
  Comus, 22, 133, 150, 152, 160.
  Conant, Thomas J., 605.
  Concordance of the Bible, Exhaustive, 607.
  Concordance to the Scriptures, 309.
  Condensed Novels, 578.
  Conder, Josiah, 304.
  Conduct of Life, 453.
  Conduct of the Allies, 180.
  Confederate States of America, 555.
  Confessio Amantis, 41.
  Confession of Faith, Westminster, 302.
  Confessions of an English Opium Eater, 239.
  Confutation, of the Animadversions upon a Defense of a
    Humble Remonstrance against a Treatise, entitled Of
    Reformation, A, 155.
  Congregationalists of the Last Three Hundred Years, The, 607.
  Congreve, William, 169, 183, 193.
  Connecticut Evangelical Magazine, 590.
  Connecticut Mirror, 519.
  Connection of the Old and New Testaments, 307.
  Conquest of Canaan, 386.
  Conquest of Granada, 168, 407, 408.
  Conquest of Mexico, 504.
  Conquest of Peru, 504.
  Conservative Reformation and its Theology, The, 607.
  Consolation, 601.
  Consolatione Philosophiae, De, 60.
  Conspiracy of Pontiac, The, 506.
  Constable, Henry, 94.
  Constitution and the Union, On the, 426.
  Constitution of the United States, 369, 373.
  Contentment, 423.
  Contrast, The, 393.
  Conversations on Some of the Old Poets, 501.
  Conversations on the Gospels, 449.
  Conybeare, William J., 312.
  Cooke, John Esten, 536.
  Cooper, James Fenimore, 391, 405, 407, 418-422, 429, 453,
    485, 507, 536, 583.
  Cooper's Hill, 174.
  Coral Grove, 544.
  Corinna, To, to Go a Maying, 148.
  Coriolanus, 116.
  Corneille, Pierre, 164, 167, 168.
  Corneille, Thomas, 169.
  Corsair, The, 250, 512.
  Cosin, John, 304.
  Cotter's Saturday Night, 216, 522.
  Cotton, John, 136, 339, 340, 346, 347.
  Counsels Civil and Moral, 91.
  Count Frontenac and New France, 507.
  Countess of Cumberland, Epistle to the, 98.
  Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia, 82, 83, 84, 85, 89.
  Country Magistrate, The, 92.
  Country Wife, 169.
  Courier-Journal, 564.
  Court of Love, 42.
  Courtin', The, 499, 562.
  Courtly Poets from Raleigh to Montrose, The, 123.
  Courtship of Miles Standish, The, 344.
  Coverdale, Miles, 63.
  Cow Chase, The, 387.
  Cowley, Abraham, 143, 148, 164, 173, 175, 179, 354.
  Cowper, William, 96, 200, 212-215, 218, 232, 366, 522.
  Cox, Samuel Hanson, 603.
  Coxe, Arthur Cleveland, 604.
  Crabbe, George, 232.
  Cradle Song, The, 291.
  Cranch, Christopher P., 437, 452.
  Cranmer, Archbishop, 301, 302.
  Crashaw, Richard, 143, 148.
  Credibility of the Gospel History, 304.
  Creed, Exposition of the, 305.
  Creeds of Christendom, 606.
  Crime against Kansas, On the, 509.
  Crisis, The, 377.
  Critic, The, 172.
  Croaker Papers, The, 417.
  Cromwell's Letters and Speeches, 286.
  Crooks, George R., 607.
  Crosby, Howard, 605.
  Crowne, John, 168.
  Cruden, Alexander, 309.
  Cuckoo, To the, 229.
  Cuckow and the Nightingale, The, 42.
  Cudworth, Ralph, 305.
  Culprit Fay, The, 98, 416.
  Cumming, John, 313.
  Curse of Kehama, 238.
  Cursor Mundi, 24.
  Curtis, George William, 437, 574.
  Cymbeline, 22, 115, 199.
  Cynthia's Revels, 122.

  Dairyman's Daughter, The, 310.
  Daisy Miller, 586, 587.
  Dame Siriz, 38.
  Dana, Charles A., 436, 452, 513.
  Dana, Richard H., 400, 429.
  Danbury News, 388, 564.
  Daniel Deronda, 280.
  Daniel, Samuel, 94, 97, 98, 324.
  Dante, 34, 36, 65, 74, 119, 242, 244, 286, 291, 294,
    295, 455, 478, 486, 501.
  Daphnaida, 70.
  Darby, William, 484.
  Davenant, Sir William, 164, 167, 172.
  Davenport, John, 595.
  David and Bethsabe, 106.
  David Copperfield, 269, 270.
  Davideis, The, 148.
  Davies, Samuel, 595, 604.
  Davis, Jefferson, 555.
  Davison, Francis, 94.
  Dawes, Rufus, 525.
  Day is Done, 481.
  Day of Doom, 355.
  Deacon Giles's Distillery, 601.
  Death and Dr. Hornbook, 218.
  Death of the Flowers, The, 515, 516.
  Death of Thomson, On the, 200.
  Decameron, 89.
  Declaration of Independence, 369.
  Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, 212.
  Deems, Charles Force, 606.
  Deerslayer, The, 420, 422.
  Defense of Chimney-sweeps, 244.
  Defense of Poesy, 85.
  Defensio pro Populo Anglicano, 156.
  De Foe, Daniel, 181, 190, 205, 410, 533.
  Deistical Writers, View of the, 308.
  Deists, Short and Easy Method with the, 307.
  Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, The Supreme, 595.
  Dejection near Naples, Stanzas Written in, 260.
  Delineation of Roman Catholicism, 606.
  Democratic Vistas, 551.
  Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God, 308.
  Demosthenes, 508.
  Denham, Sir John, 174.
  Denominations in the United States, A History
    of Religious, 603.
  De Quincey, Thomas, 138, 222, 239-241, 282, 532, 567.
  Derby, George H., 564.
  Derby, Lord, 96.
  Descent into the Maelstrom, The, 533.
  Description of England, 97.
  Deserted Road, The, 542.
  Deserted Village, The, 211.
  Destruction of Jerusalem, 168.
  Dexter, Henry Martyn, 607.
  Dial, The, 434, 441, 450, 452.
  Dialogue between Franklin and the Gout, 362.
  Diamond Lens, 559.
  Diana Enamorada, 83.
  Diana, Hymn to, 123.
  Diary, Henry Crabb Robinson's, 241.
  Diary, Samuel Sewall's, 352, 353.
  Diary, Pepys's, 165, 171, 173, 352.
  Dickens, Charles, 241, 267-272, 273, 274, 276, 277, 278,
    280, 396, 415, 489, 512, 529, 562, 592.
  Dickinson, Jonathan, 595.
  Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers, 49.
  Dictionary of the English Language, Johnson's, 204.
  Diderot, Denis, 284.
  Difference between Absolute and Limited Monarchy, 48.
  Directions to Servants, 192.
  Dirge in Cymbeline, 199.
  Discoveries, Ben Jonson's, 105.
  Discovery of the Empire of Guiana, 86.
  Dividing Line, History of the, 331.
  Divina Commedia, 486.
  Divine Attributes, The, 306.
  Divine Emblems, 146, 354.
  Divine-Human in the Scriptures, The, 605.
  Divine Legation of Moses, 309.
  Divine Weeks and Works, 158, 354.
  Divinity, Complete Body of, 594.
  Doane, George W., 604.
  Doctrine of Instituted Churches, 595.
  Doddridge, Philip, 303, 308.
  Dolph Heyliger, 410.
  Domain of Arnheim, 533.
  Dombey and Son, 269.
  Don Juan, 254.
  Don Quixote, 166, 275,
  Donne, John, 142, 143-145, 173, 177, 354.
  Dora, 290.
  Dorchester Giant, The, 487
  Dou Coc et Werpil, 38.
  Dowie Dens of Yarrow, 56.
  Drake, James Rodman, 98, 416, 417, 418, 429.
  Dramatic Lyrics, 294.
  Dramatic Poets, Specimens of English, 243.
  Dramatis Personae, 294.
  Draper, J. W., 555.
  Drayton, Michael, 83, 94, 97, 98, 141, 324.
  Dream Children, 244.
  Dream Fugue, 532.
  Dream Life, 545.
  Dream of Fair Women, 289.
  Dream of the Unknown, A, 260.
  Dresser, The, 549.
  Drew, Samuel, 310.
  Drifting, 542.
  Driving Home the Cows, 556.
  Drum Taps, 551.
  Drummond, Henry, 313.
  Drummond, William, 94.
  Dryden, John, 38, 76, 128, 143, 149, 155, 164, 168, 169,
    170, 172, 174, 175, 176-179, 180, 183, 184, 186, 190,
    192, 193, 200, 212, 348, 349, 358.
  Du Bartas, Gillaume, 153, 158, 354.
  Duche, Jacob, 597.
  Duchess of Malfi, 134.
  Duff, Alexander, 312.
  Duffield, George, 604.
  Duke of Lerma, 168.
  Dunbar, William, 74.
  Dunciad, The, 182, 183, 184.
  Dunstan, Saint, 28.
  Dunster, Henry, 594.
  Durbin, John Price, 602.
  Dutchman's Fireside, The, 416.
  Duycinck, E. A., 318, 389, 407.
  Duycinck, G. L., 318, 389, 407.
  Dwight, John S., 437, 444.
  Dwight, Sereno, 358.
  Dwight, Theodore, 382, 383.
  Dwight, Timothy, 382, 386, 387, 452, 604.
  Dyer, John, 198, 201, 205.
  Dying Swan, The, 289.

  Earle, John, 280.
  Early Spring in Massachusetts, 458.
  Eastward Hoe, 120.
  Easy and Ready Way to Establish a Commonwealth, An, 154.
  Ecce Homo, 313.
  Ecclesiastical Characteristics, 596.
  Ecclesiastical History of New England, 597.
  Ecclesiastical Polity, 90, 91.
  Echo, The, 383.
  Echo Club, The, 540.
  Eclipse of Faith, The, 312.
  Ecole des Femmes, 169.
  Edgar Huntley, 394, 396.
  Edgeworth, Maria, 248.
  Edinburgh Review, 223, 281, 284, 406.
  Edith Linsey, 537.
  Education of Nature, The, 516.
  Edward II., 105.
  Edward V. and Richard III., History of, 64.
  Edward VI., Prayer Books of, 301, 302.
  Edwards, Bela Bates, 601.
  Edwards, Jonathan, 355-358, 386, 430, 440, 442.
  Edwards, Jonathan, the Younger, 598.
  Edwin Morris, 290.
  Eggleston, Edward, 581.
  Elaine, 290.
  Eleanore, 289.
  Elegy on Thyrza, 255.
  Elegy to the Memory of an Unfortunate Lady, 186.
  Elegy written in a Country Churchyard, 198, 200.
  Elevator, The, 393, 592.
  Elgin Marbles, On Seeing the, 262.
  Eliot, John, 337, 339, 594.
  Elliott, Charles, 606.
  Elliott, Charlotte, 304.
  Elliott, Jane, 59.
  Eloisa to Abelard, 186.
  Elsie Venner, 494.
  Emerson, Charles, 452.
  Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 138, 241, 427, 434, 435, 439, 440,
    441, 442, 443, 444-450, 451, 452, 453-457, 458, 459, 460,
    461, 470, 474, 481, 483, 495, 502, 512, 517, 525, 549.
  Emmons, Nathaniel, 598.
  Empress of Morocco, 168.
  Encouragements to a Lover, 149.
  Endicott's Red Cross, 343, 467.
  Endymion, 261, 263.
  England's Greatest Poets, An Account of, 174.
  England, History of, from the Accession of James II., 281, 283.
  England's Helicon, 94.
  England's Heroical Epistles, 97.
  English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, 193.
  English Note Book, 469.
  English Poetry, History of, 195.
  English Traits, 448, 456.
  Enid, 292.
  Ephemerae, 545.
  Epipsychidion, 260.
  Epilogue to Cato, 390.
  Episcopacy, 596, 597, 603.
  Episcopacy by Divine Right, 304.
  Episcopal Church in the United States, Memoir of the, 597.
  Epithalamion, 73, 74.
  Erasmus, Desiderius, 61.
  Errors of Hopkinsianism, 599.
  Essay on Criticism, 174.
  Essay on Dramatic Poesie, 168, 178.
  Essay on Man, 182.
  Essay on Poetry, 173.
  Essay on Satire, 173.
  Essay on Translated Verse, 174.
  Essays and Reviews, 311.
  Essays, Bacon's, 91, 92, 123.
  Essays, Cowley's, 148.
  Essays, Emerson's, 453.
  Essays of Elia, 243.
  Essex Gazette, 519.
  Eton College, Ode on a Distant Prospect of, 200.
  Eternal Goodness, The, 522.
  Ethan Brand, 466.
  Etherege, George, 169, 170, 171.
  Euganean Hills, Written in the, 260.
  Euphues and his England, 81.
  Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit, 80, 81, 82, 84, 89.
  Euphues's Censure to Philautus, 82.
  Euripides, 100.
  Europeans, The, 586.
  Evangeline, 483, 484.
  Evans, Mary Ann, 267.
  Eve of St. Agnes, 263.
  Evelyn Hope, 295.
  Evening Chronicle, 267.
  Evening Mirror, 527, 536, 537, 538.
  Evening Post, 417, 513, 518.
  Evening Wind, The, 515.
  Evening, Ode to, 199.
  Evening's Love, An, 169.
  Everett, Edward, 428, 429, 489, 495, 560.
  Evergreen, 59.
  Every Man in his Humor, 121, 122.
  Every Man out of his Humor, 121.
  Evolution, Religious Aspects of, 605.
  Examination of the Doctrine of
    Future Retribution, An, 600.
  Excelsior, 480.
  Excursion, The, 228, 231, 232.
  Excursions, Thoreau's, 458.
  Exiles in Bermuda, Song of the, 161.
  Eyes and Ears, 545.

  F. Smith, 537.
  Faber, F. W., 304.
  Faber, George Stanley, 312.
  Fable for Critics, A, 451, 500, 503.
  Fable of the Bees, 360.
  Fables, Dryden's, 178.
  Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar, 529.
  Faerie Queene, 18, 51, 67, 70-73, 140, 179, 198, 263.
  Fair and Happy Milkmaid, 93.
  Fair Helen of Kirkconnell, 56.
  Fairbairn, Patrick, 312,
  Fairfax, Edward, 97.
  Faithful Shepherdess, 123, 133.
  Faits of Arms, 49.
  Fall of Robespierre, 225.
  Fall of the Bastile, 225,
  Fall of the House of Usher, 532.
  Falls of Princes, 43, 67.
  Familiar Letters upon Important Subjects in Religion, 595.
  Familists' Hymn, The, 343.
  Family Expositor, 308.
  Famous Victories of Henry V., 112.
  Fanshawe, 465.
  Farewell Address, 374.
  Farquhar, George, 169, 392.
  Fatima, 289.
  Faust, 105, 454, 500, 540.
  Faustus, Tragical History of Doctor, 105, 106, 118.
  Fay, Theodore S., 525.
  Federal Constitution, On the Expediency of Adopting the, 373.
  Federalist, The, 374.
  Feint Astrologue, Le, 169.
  Felix Holt, 278.
  Felton, Cornelius C., 476.
  Ferdinand and Isabella, 475, 504.
  Ferdinand Count Fathom, 209.
  Ferguson, Robert, 216.
  Festivals and Fasts, 599.
  Fichte, Johann G., 234, 440, 444.
  Fielding, Henry, 207, 208, 210, 212, 247, 274, 276, 410, 561.
  Filostrato, 36.
  Final Judgment, The, 356.
  Finch, Francis M., 557.
  Fingal, 195.
  Finley, Samuel, 595.
  Finney, Charles G., 601.
  Fire of Driftwood, 481.
  Fireside Travels, 475.
  First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment
    of Women, 300.
  First Epistle to Davie, 220.
  First Looking into Chapman's Homer, On, 97, 262.
  Fisher, John, 64.
  Fisk, Wilbur, 599.
  Fitz-Adam's Story, 490.
  Flavel, John, 306.
  Fleece, The, 198.
  Fletcher, Giles, 159.
  Fletcher, John, 94, 102, 107, 110, 113, 123, 127,
    128-133, 135, 153, 171.
  Fletcher, John (of Madeley), 310.
  Fletcher, Phineas, 143.
  Fleurs de Mal, 533.
  Fliegende Blaetter, 563.
  Flint, Timothy, 405.
  Flood of Years, The, 517.
  Flower and the Leaf, The, 42.
  Folk Poetry, 54.
  Fontaine Amoureuse, La, 36.
  Footpath, The, 501.
  Footsteps of Angels, 479.
  Ford, John, 133, 135.
  Foregone Conclusion, A, 588.
  Foreign Review, The, 284.
  Foreknowledge of God, The, 605.
  Forest, The, 123.
  Forest Hymn, The, 514.
  Forsaken Bride, The, 56.
  Fortescue, Sir John, 48.
  Fortune of the Republic, 453, 454.
  Foster, Stephen C., 542, 543.
  Fountain, The, 229.
  Fouque, Friedrich H. K., 284, 469.
  Fourberies de Scapin, 169.
  Fourier, J. P. J., 436.
  Fourth Gospel, Authorship of the, 605.
  Fox, Charles James, 366.
  Fox, George, 307.
  Fox, John, 179, 300, 148.
  Fox and the Wolf, The, 38.
  Fra Lippo Lippi, 296,
  France and England in North America, 506.
  France, Ode to, 225.
  Frankenstein, 394.
  Franklin, Benjamin, 243, 347, 358-363, 378, 380, 407, 408.
  Franklin's Tale, The, 38.
  Fraser's Magazine, 224, 273, 286.
  Frederick the Great, History of, 283, 286.
  Free Press, 519.
  Freedom, Ode to, 498.
  Freedom of the Will, 356, 605.
  Freeman's Oath, The, 337.
  French and Spanish Missions Among the Indian Tribes
    of the United States, 607.
  French Poets and Novelists, 586.
  French Revolution, The, 286._
  French Revolution, The, as it Appeared to Enthusiasts
    at its Commencement, 226.
  Freneau, Philip, 399-392.
  Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, 107.
  Friends, 596.
  Friendship, Cicero on, 49.
  Froissart, Sir John, 35, 51.
  Froude, Richard H., 311.
  Fuller, Andrew, 310.
  Fuller, Sarah Margaret, 435, 436, 437, 438, 442, 444,
    450, 451, 452, 456, 471, 485.
  Fuller, Thomas, 33, 139, 140, 162, 243, 280, 304, 348, 358.
  Furness, William H., 603.

  Gaboriau, Emile, 529.
  Galahad, Sir, 23, 292.
  Galaxy, The, 575.
  Galileo, 151.
  Gall, Franz J., 436.
  Garden of Cyrus, 137.
  Gardener's Daughter, The, 291.
  Garlands, 59.
  Garrick, David, 199, 203.
  Garrison of Cape Anne, The, 352.
  Garrison, William Lloyd, 424, 426, 507, 519, 520, 543.
  Gascoigne, George, 79.
  Gather ye Rosebuds while ye may, 148.
  Gawayne, Sir, 28.
  Gay, John, 185, 276.
  Gebir, 242.
  General Magazine and Historical Chronicle, The, 360.
  Genius and Writings of Pope, Essay on, 200.
  Gentlemen's Magazine, The, 526.
  Geoffrey of Monmouth, 21, 22, 23.
  Geographical Description of Louisiana, 484.
  Geography and History of the Mississippi Valley, 405.
  "George Eliot," 92, 247, 267, 277-280, 584, 591.
  Georges, The Four, 270.
  Georgia Spec, The, 393.
  Georgics, 198.
  Gertrude of Wyoming, 249.
  Gerusalemme Liberata, 70, 73.
  Gettysburg Address, Lincoln's, 560.
  Ghost Ball at Congress Hall, The, 537.
  Giaour, The, 250.
  Gibbon, Edward, 212, 282.
  Gifford, William, 193, 223.
  Gillaume de Lorris, 36.
  Girdle, On a, 149.
  Girl Describes her Fawn, The, 161.
  Give Me the Old, 538.
  Glove, The, 295.
  Go, Lovely Rose, 149.
  Goddwyn, 197.
  Godey's Lady's Book, 511, 524.
  Godfrey, Thomas, 393.
  Godwin, William, 394.
  Goethe, Johann W., 105, 119, 196, 207, 225, 234, 246,
    272, 283, 284, 295, 455, 500, 540.
  Goetz Von Berlichingen, 246.
  Gold Bug, The, 529.
  Golden Legend, 49, 485.
  Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics, 123, 516.
  Goldsmith, Oliver, 163, 172, 203, 210, 211, 212, 247,
    276, 386, 414, 423.
  Gongora, 143
  Good, John Mason, 310.
  Good News from Virginia, 333.
  Good Schoolmaster, The, 92.
  Good Thoughts in Bad Times, 139, 162.
  Good Word for Winter, A, 502.
  Goodrich, S. G., 402, 406, 465.
  Goodwin, C. W., 311.
  Goody Blake and Harry Gill, 228.
  Gordobuc, 22, 68.
  Gospel Mysteries Opened, 306.
  Gospels for the Day, The, 24.
  Gosson, Stephen, 81.
  Governail of Princes, 42.
  Gower, John, 38, 41, 44, 49.
  Graham, James, 149, 150.
  Graham, Sylvester, 436.
  Graham's Monthly, 511, 524, 526, 529, 538.
  Grammarian's Funeral, The, 294.
  Grammont, Chevalier de, 171.
  Grandfather's Chair, 352.
  Grandissimes, The, 582.
  Grant, Sir Robert, 304.
  Grant, Ulysses S., 555.
  Gray, Thomas, 163, 176, 194, 195, 197, 198, 199, 200,
    201, 205, 211, 244.
  Great Expectations, 270.
  Great Hoggarty Diamond, 273.
  Great Question Debated, The, 192.
  Greatest Thing in the World, The, 313.
  Grecian Urn, Ode on a, 262.
  Greek Literature, Brief Appraisal of the, 240.
  Greek New Testament, 313.
  Greeley, Horace, 437, 539, 555.
  Green, Ashbel, 598.
  Green Grow the Rashes O, 217.
  Green, John Richard, 126.
  Green River, 515.
  Greene, Albert Gordon, 423.
  Greene, Robert, 82, 89, 90, 103, 106, 107.
  Greenfield, Hill, 386.
  Grigg, Joseph, 303.
  Griselda, 46.
  Griswold, Rufus Wilmot, 389, 407, 538.
  Groat's Worth of Wit, 90.
  Grocyn, William, 61.
  Grongar Hill, 198.
  Guardian Angel, The, 494.
  Guest, Lady Charlotte, 292.
  Guinevere, 22, 23, 292, 293.
  Guizot, F. P. G., 373.
  Gulliver's Travels, 190, 192, 411.
  Guyon, Life and Religious Experience of Madame, 603.

  Hackett, Horatio B., 605.
  Hail Columbia, 388, 389, 416.
  Hakluyt, Richard, 87.
  Hale, Edward Everett, 474, 529, 572-574.
  Hales, John, 136.
  Haliburton, Thomas C., 484.
  Hall, Joseph, 93, 177, 304.
  Hall, Robert, 310.
  Halleck, Fitz-Greene, 417, 418, 429, 536.
  Halpine, Charles G., 559.
  Hamilton, Alexander, 373, 374, 375, 377, 426, 595.
  Hamlet, 115, 116, 118, 222, 236, 297, 481.
  Hancock, John, 368.
  Handlyng Sinne, 24.
  Hannah Thurston, 541.
  Huns Breitmann Ballads, 581.
  Hans Pfaall, 529.
  Harbinger, The, 436, 437.
  Harbor for the Faithful and True Subjects, 300.
  Harman, Henry Martyn, 606.
  Harp of Tara, The, 256.
  Harpers' Monthly, 511, 512, 574, 575.
  Harris, Joel Chandler, 582.
  Harris, John, 312.
  Harrison, William, 97.
  Hart, Joseph, 303.
  Harte, Francis Bret, 569, 575-580.
  Harvard Commemoration, Ode Recited at the, 501.
  Harvey Gabriel, 68, 148.
  Harvey, William, 136.
  Hastings, Thomas, 604.
  Hasty Pudding, The, 385, 386.
  Haunted Palace, The, 531.
  Haverhill Gazette, 519.
  Hawes, Stephen, 52, 67.
  Hawks, Francis L., 603.
  Hawthorne, Julian, 468.
  Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 74, 279, 321, 334, 343, 352, 384,
    394, 435, 437, 451, 454, 463-470, 476, 482, 483, 484,
    494, 495, 511, 525, 532, 541, 554, 559, 561, 562, 583,
    584, 586, 591.
  Hay, John, 580.
  Hazlitt, William, 257.
  Heads of the People, 92.
  Health, A, 423.
  Heart of Midlothian, 248.
  Heathen Chinee, 578.
  Heavenly Beauty, On, 70, 74.
  Heavenly Love, On, 70, 74.
  Heber, Reginald, 304.
  Hebrew Poetry, 309.
  Hebrews, Commentary on the Epistle to the, 305.
  Hedge, F. H., 437.
  Heeren, Arnold H. L., 505.
  Heidelberg Catechism, Lectures on the, 600.
  Height of the Ridiculous, The, 487.
  Heine, Heinrich, 151, 256.
  Helen, To, 528.
  Hellenics, 242.
  Hemans, Mrs. Felicia D., 453, 544.
  Henry Esmond, 247, 275.
  Henry, Matthew, 307.
  Henry of Huntingdon, 17.
  Henry, Patrick, 366, 367, 368, 373.
  Henry IV., 111, 112.
  Henry V., 111.
  Henry VI., 110, 111, 112.
  Henry VIII., 77, 110, 111.
  Her Eyes Are Wild, 230.
  Herbert, George, 142, 143, 145, 146, 147.
  Herbert, Lord, of Cherbury, 136, 299.
  Hereford, Nicholas, 32.
  Hero and Leander, 95, 96.
  Heroes and Hero Worship, 280, 285, 453.
  Herrick, Robert, 143, 146-148, 162.
  Hervey, James, 309.
  Hesperides, 146, 162.
  Hiawatha, 391, 484.
  Higginson, Thomas W., 409, 437, 451, 559.
  Highland Girl, To a, 229.
  Highlands, Ode on the Superstitions of the, 194.
  Hillard, George S., 476,
  Hind and Panther, The, 178.
  Hirst, Henry B., 525.
  His Level Best, 572.
  Historia Britonum, 21.
  History, Carlyle on, 284, 286.
  Histrio-mastix: the Player's Scourge, 129.
  Hobart, John Henry, 599.
  Hobbes, Thomas, 136, 155, 163.
  Hodge, Archibald Alexander, 604.
  Hodge, Charles, 604.
  Hoffman, Charles Fenno, 538.
  Hoffman, Ernst T. W., 284.
  Hohenlinden, 249.
  Holinshed, Ralph, 90, 97.
  Holland, Josiah G., 575.
  Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 186, 293, 347, 423, 435, 436, 474,
    475, 486-495, 499, 512, 516, 525, 555, 559, 561, 562, 563.
  Holy and Profane State, The, 139.
  Holy Dying, 140, 141.
  Holy Fair, 218.
  Holy Ghost, The Temporal Mission of the, 313.
  Holy Living, 140.
  Holy Spirit, The, 305.
  Holy Spirit, The Office and Work of the, 305.
  Holy Tulzie, 218.
  Holy Willie's Prayer, 218.
  Home Journal, The, 537.
  Home, Sweet Home, 422.
  Homer, 70, 71, 72, 96, 108, 117, 119, 181, 183, 184, 244,
    262, 410, 484, 518.
  Homer and the Homeridae, 240.
  Homesick in Heaven, 490.
  Homiletics, 601.
  Hood, Thomas, 490, 562.
  Hooker, Richard, 90, 142.
  Hooker, Thomas, 346, 349, 351, 442.
  Hoosier Schoolmaster, The, 581.
  Hopkins, John, 302.
  Hopkins, John Henry, 603.
  Hopkins, Lemuel, 382, 383.
  Hopkins, Mark, 604.
  Hopkins, Samuel, 598.
  Hopkinson, Francis, 388.
  Hopkinson, Joseph, 388.
  Horace, 60, 65, 147, 173, 174, 183, 199.
  Horae Homileticae, 312.
  Horae Mosaicae, 312.
  Horae Paulinae, 309.
  Horatian Ode upon Cromwell's Return from Ireland, 161.
  Horne, Thomas Hartwell, 312.
  Horse-Shoe Robinson, 535.
  "Hosea Biglow," 565.
  Hous of Fame, 35, 36.
  House of the Seven Gables, 464, 468.
  How Sleep the Brave? 200.
  How to Keep a True Lent, 147.
  How we Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix, 290.
  Howard, Henry, 65, 66, 67.
  Howard, Robert, 168, 170.
  Howe, John, 305.
  Howe, Julia Ward, 556.
  Howells, William D., 393, 583-585, 588-592.
  Howson, John S., 312.
  Hudibras, 165, 166, 381.
  Hume, David, 282, 361.
  Humorists of the Last Century, The English, 192, 276.
  Humphrey Clinker, 209.
  Humphreys, David, 382, 383.
  Hundred Years of Methodism, A, 606.
  Hunt, Leigh, 92, 258.
  Hunter, William, 604.
  Hunting of the Cheviot, 56.
  Hurd, Richard, 195.
  Hydriotaphia, 138, 162.
  Hymn of the Moravian Nuns of Bethlehem, 477.
  Hymn on Completion of Concord Monument, 457.
  Hymns, American Writers of, 604.
  Hymns, English Writers of, 303, 304.
  Hymns, Village, 603.
  Hypatia, 247, 313.
  Hyperion, 261, 486.

  Ichabod, 521.
  Idiot Boy, The, 228.
  Idler, The, 188, 205.
  Idyllia Heroica, 242.
  Idylls of the King, 24, 290, 292.
  If, Yes, and Perhaps, 572.
  Il Penseroso, 152, 198, 199.
  Iliad, The, 117, 184, 185, 385, 518.
  Illustrious Providences, An Essay for the Recording of, 348.
  Imaginary Conversations, 242.
  Imitations from Horace, 380.
  Immateriality and Immortality of the Soul, 370.
  Impressions of Theophrastus Such, 92, 280.
  In Memoriam, 291.
  In the Tennessee Mountains, 582.
  Incident of the French Camp, 295.
  Independent, The, 545.
  Independent Journal, 374.
  Indian Air, Lines to an, 259, 540.
  Indian Burying Ground, 390, 391.
  Indian Emperor, 168.
  Indian Student, 390, 391.
  Indian Summer, 590.
  Indian Tribes of the United States, History of the French
    and Spanish Missions among the, 607.
  Induction, The, 67.
  Infant Baptism, 307.
  Ingham Papers, The, 572.
  Inklings of Adventure, 537.
  Innocents Abroad, 569, 570.
  Inquiries into Vulgar and Common Errors, 136.
  Institutes of Natural and Revealed Religion, 309.
  Intellectual System of the Universe, 305.
  International Episode, An, 586, 587.
  Interviews Memorable and Useful, 603.
  Intimations of Immortality, Ode on the, 146, 228.
  Introduction to the Study of the Holy Scriptures, 312, 606.
  Iphigenie, 168.
  Irish Melodies, 256.
  Irish Sketch-Book, 273.
  Irving, Washington, 75, 188, 366, 380, 400, 405, 406-415,
    416, 418, 419, 429, 467, 495, 504, 515, 561, 562, 571, 587.
  Irving, William, 408, 409.
  Isabel, 289.
  Isabella, or The Pot of Basil, 263.
  Isaiah, 196.
  Isle of Psalms, 239.
  Isles of Greece, 254.
  Israfel, 528, 533.
  Italian Journeys, 589.
  Italian Note Book, 469.
  Ivanhoe, 248.

  Jacobi, Friedrich H., 444.
  Jacobus, Melanchthon W., 605.
  James, Henry, Jr., 559, 582-591.
  James, William, 585.
  James I., 43, 44, 45.
  Jane Talbot, 394.
  Jay, John, 374, 375, 376.
  Jefferson, Thomas, 369-373, 376, 378, 383, 390.
  Jeffrey, Francis, 223, 281.
  Jerrold, Douglas, 92.
  Jerusalem Delivered, 97.
  Jesuits in North America, The, 507
  Jesus, A History of, 603.
  Jewel, John, 300.
  Jews, History of the, 314, 603.
  Jim, 579, 580.
  Jim Bludso, 580.
  Job, 196, 310.
  Jock o' Hazeldean, 247.
  John Barleycorn, 217.
  John Brown's Body, 387, 556.
  John Gilpin, 215.
  John Godfrey's Fortune, 541.
  John of Barneveld, Life of, 506.
  John of Gaunt, 39.
  "John Phoenix," 564.
  John Underhill, 343, 344, 345, 346.
  Johnson, Edward, 595.
  Johnson, Samuel, 92, 137, 143, 145, 158, 175, 178, 181,
    188, 189, 193, 198, 202-205, 211, 224, 276, 366, 380.
  Johnson, Samuel (of Conn.), 595.
  Jolly Beggars, 53, 54, 218.
  "Jonathan Oldstyle," 408.
  Jonathan to John, 499.
  Jonathan Wild, 208, 271.
  Jonson, Ben, 67, 82, 85, 94, 98, 105, 109, 113, 117,
    120-123, 124, 127, 128, 143, 147, 151, 164, 165.
  Joseph Andrews, 207.
  "Josh Billings," 569.
  Journal, Bradford's, 338, 342, 353.
  Journal, Chalkley's, 596.
  Journal, George Fox's, 307.
  Journal of the Plague, 205.
  Journal, Winthrop's, 338, 342, 343, 346, 353.
  Journal, Woolman's, 396-398, 596.
  Journey to the Land of Eden, A, 331.
  Jowett, Benjamin, 311.
  Judd, Sylvester, 503.
  Julius Caesar, 60, 115, 116, 117, 172.
  Jumping Frog, The, 569.
  June, 515, 516.
  Junius, Letters of, 366.
  Junkin, George, 602.
  Justice and Expediency, 520.
  Justification, 594.
  Juvenal, 60, 174, 177, 193.

  Kalevala, 485.
  Kane, Elisha Kent, 462.
  Kansas-Nebraska Bill, On the, 509.
  Kant, Immanuel, 225, 234, 440, 444, 445.
  Katie, 557.
  Keach, Benjamin, 306.
  Keats, John, 73, 97, 222, 255, 261-264, 481.
  Keble, John, 145, 304, 311.
  Kelly, Thomas, 303, 306.
  Ken, Thomas, 303, 306.
  Kenelm, 28.
  Kenilworth, 79, 248.
  Kennedy, John P., 335.
  Kenrick, Thomas P., 606.
  Kersey, John, 197.
  Key, Francis Scott, 389.
  Key into the Language of America, 339.
  Kidd the Pirate, 410.
  Killigrew, William, 169.
  King and No King, A, 129, 132, 133.
  King James' Bible, 33, 301.
  King John, 111, 112.
  King's Missive, The, 523.
  King's Quhair, 43, 44, 45.
  King's Tragedy, The, 45.
  Kingsley, Charles, 237, 247, 267, 313.
  "Kirwan," 603.
  Kitto, John, 312.
  Klopstock, Friedrich G., 234.
  Knickerbocker's History of New York, 400, 407, 410, 411, 561.
  Knickerbocker's Magazine, 410, 415, 465, 506, 524.
  Knight of the Burning Pestle, 133.
  Knight's Tale, 35, 38, 44, 46.
  Knowledge of God, The, 600.
  Knolles, Richard, 136.
  Knox, John, 300, 312.
  Koerner, Karl Theodor, 521, 558.
  Krauth, Charles Porterfield, 607.
  Kubla Khan, 235, 238, 530.
  Kyd, Thomas, 103.

  La Bruyere, 92.
  Lady of Shalott, 290.
  Lady of the Aroostook, The, 588, 590.
  Lady of the Lake, 247.
  Lake Poets, The, 226, 227.
  Lalla Rookh, 256.
  L'Allegro, 152, 198.
  Lamb, Charles, 73, 124, 171, 188, 222, 243, 244, 280, 396, 561.
  Lament for Flodden, 59.
  Lamia, 262.
  Land and the Book, The, 602.
  Land of Cokaygne, 26, 38.
  Landlady, Count the Lawin, 219.
  Landor, Walter Savage, 222, 229, 241-243, 448, 496.
  Lanfranc, 13.
  Langland, William, 29, 31, 35, 39, 41, 57.
  Lanier, Sidney, 581.
  Lara, 250.
  Lardner, Nathaniel, 309.
  La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West, 507.
  Last Leaf, The, 423, 488.
  Last of the Mohicans, 420, 422.
  Last of the Valerii, 586.
  Last Ride Together, 295.
  Last Rose of Summer, 256.
  Latest Form of Infidelity, 442.
  Latimer, Hugh, 63.
  Latter-day Pamphlets, 285.
  Launcelot, Sir, and Queen Guinevere, 292.
  Laus Deo, 521.
  Law of Love and Love as a Law, The, 604.
  Law, William, 309.
  Lawes, Henry, 150.
  Lay of the Ash, 38.
  Lay of the Last Minstrel, 246.
  Lays of Ancient Rome, 283.
  Layamon, 22.
  Leading Personages of Scripture History, 597.
  Leander, On a Picture of, 262.
  Lear, King, 21, 115, 116, 131, 172, 287.
  Leather Stocking Tales, 391, 420, 421.
  Leaves of Grass, 546, 548, 550.
  Leaving Europe, Lines on, 537.
  Leben Jesu, 277.
  Lecture on the Mormons, 566.
  Lectures on Shakespere, 236.
  Lee, Nathaniel, 168.
  Legend of Britanny, 496.
  Legend of Good Women, 35, 289.
  Legend of Sleepy Hollow, 410, 412.
  Legends of New England, 520.
  Legends of the Province House, 467.
  Leiden des Jungen Werther, 207.
  Leland, Charles G., 581.
  Leland, John, 308.
  Leonora, 246.
  Le Sage, Alain Rene, 209.
  Leslie, Charles, 307.
  Lessing, Gotthold E., 240.
  L'Estrange, Sir Roger, 148.
  L'Etourdi, 169.
  Letter from Italy, 249.
  Letters and Social Aims, 453.
  Letters from Italy, 141.
  Letters from Under a Bridge, 537.
  Letters of a Traveler, 518.
  Letters of "Kirwan," 604.
  Letters on Chivalry and Romance, 195.
  Letters on Toleration, 155.
  Letters, Thoreau's, 458.
  Letters to Trinitarians and Calvinists, 598.
  Lewes, George Henry, 277, 278.
  Lewis, Matthew Gregory, 248, 394.
  Lewis, Tayler, 605.
  Liberator, The, 424, 507, 543.
  Liberty of Prophesying, 155.
  Lie, The, 88.
  Ligeia, 532.
  Light of Other Days, 256.
  Light of Stars, 479.
  Lilian, 289.
  Lily, William, 61.
  Linacre, Thomas, 61.
  Lincoln, Abraham, 377, 559-561, 563.
  Linn, William, 597.
  Lippincott's Magazine, 575.
  Literary Magazine and American Register, 394.
  Literary Recreations and Miscellanies, 524.
  Literati of New York, 525.
  Little Breeches, 580.
  Little Dorrit, 280.
  Living Temple, The, 305.
  Livingston, William, 380.
  Livy, 60.
  Locke, David R., 569.
  Locke, John, 155, 163, 358, 359, 380, 445.
  Lockhart, James Gibson, 223.
  Locksley Hall, 291.
  Locrine, 22,
  Lodge, Thomas, 82, 89, 103.
  London (Johnson's), 193.
  London Lyckpenny, 43.
  London Magazine, 239, 243.
  Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 334, 343, 344, 391, 463, 465,
    474, 475, 476-486, 489, 495, 497, 499, 500, 512, 523,
    525, 527, 533, 540, 550, 574.
  Longfellow, Samuel, 604.
  Lord Clive, 283.
  Lord of the Isles, 246.
  Lord's Land, The, 606.
  Lost Arts, The, 508.
  Lost Cause, The, 555.
  Lost Leader, The, 295, 522.
  Lotus Eaters, 290.
  Love, On, 70, 74.
  Lovelace, Richard, 148.
  Love's Labor Lost, 104, 113.
  Love's Triumph, 123.
  Lowell, James Russell, 264, 325, 355, 435, 438, 449, 451,
    453, 474, 482, 495-503, 512, 513, 516, 523, 525, 540,
    543, 555, 561, 562, 563, 574.
  Lowth, Robert, 309.
  Lucasta, To, on Going to the Wars, 148.
  Luck of Barry Lyndon, 273.
  Luck of Roaring Camp, 577.
  Lucretius, 60, 98, 174.
  Lucy, 229.
  Lunatic Skate, The, 537.
  Luria, 297.
  Lutrin, 184.
  Luve Ron, A, 25.
  Lycidas, 69, 152, 153.
  Lydgate, John, 43, 44, 45, 49, 67.
  Lyly, John, 80, 81, 83, 90, 94, 103, 104,
  Lyrical Ballads, 227, 232, 233.
  Lyrics of a Day, 557.
  Lyte, Henry Francis, 304.
  Lyttleton, Lord George, 309.

  M---- from Abroad, To, 537.
  Mabinogion, 292.
  Macaulay, Thomas Babington, 171, 192, 202, 204, 280-283, 506.
  Macbeth, 115, 116, 118, 134, 172.
  McCabe, Lorenzo P., 605.
  McClintock, John, 607.
  McCosh, James, 605.
  McCrie, Thomas, 312.
  Macdonald, George, 162.
  M'Fingal, 166, 381, 388, 407.
  MacFlecknoe, 176.
  Machault, Jean, 36.
  McIlvaine, Charles P., 604.
  McKnight, James, 310.
  Macpherson, James, 195, 196, 244.
  McTyeire, Holland N., 607.
  Madeline, 289.
  Madison, James, 374, 375, 390.
  Madonna of the Future, The, 586.
  Maeviad, 193, 223.
  Magnalia Christi Americana, 140, 347-352, 354, 407.
  Mahomet and his Successors, 414.
  Maid's Tragedy, The, 129, 130.
  Maine Woods, 458.
  "Major Jack Downing," 564.
  Malade Imaginaire, Le, 113, 122.
  Malory, Sir Thomas, 24, 50, 292.
  Mammon, 312.
  Mamusse Wimneetupanatamwe up-Biblium God, 337.
  Man All Immortal, 605.
  Man of the Crowd, The, 532.
  Man-of-War-Bird, 550.
  Man Without a Country, The, 529, 571, 572.
  Mandeville, Bernard de, 360.
  Manfred, 251.
  Manly Heart, The, 149.
  Manning, Henry Edward, 313.
  Mant, Richard, 304.
  Manton, Thomas, 306.
  Manufacturer, The, 519.
  MS. Found in a Bottle, 535.
  Map, Walter, 23.
  Marble Faun, The, 464, 466, 468, 469.
  Marco Bozzaris, 417.
  Margaret, 289, 503.
  Margaret Nicholson's Remains, 258.
  Mariana, 289, 290.
  Mariana in the South, 289.
  Marie de France, 38, 39.
  Marino, 143, 173.
  "Mark Twain," 562, 569-571.
  Mark Twain's Sketches, 570.
  Marlowe, Christopher, 94, 95, 96, 97, 103, 104-106, 107,
    118, 133.
  Marmion, 246, 391.
  Marot, Clement, 68.
  Marshal, Stephen, 304.
  Marston, John, 177.
  Martin Chuzzlewit, 269.
  "Martin Marprelate," 89, 90, 126.
  Martyn, Henry, 310.
  Marvell, Andrew, 161, 177.
  Mary in Heaven, To, 217.
  Mary Unwin, To, 213.
  Maryland, History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in, 603.
  Maryland, My Maryland, 556.
  Mason, John, 303.
  Mason, John Mitchell, 599.
  Mason, William, 195, 197.
  Masque of the Gods, The, 539.
  Masson, David, 161.
  Master Humphrey's Clock, 269.
  Mather, Cotton, 140, 334, 335, 336, 338, 340, 344, 347-352,
    354, 358, 407, 594, 596.
  Mather, Increase, 348, 350, 594.
  Mather, Richard, 594.
  Mather, Samuel, 596.
  Matthew of Westminster, 17.
  Maud, 292.
  Maud Muller, 522, 523.
  Maundeville, Sir John, 46, 47.
  Maurice, J. Frederick Denison, 237, 312
  May Day, 453.
  May Queen, 290.
  Mayhew, Jonathan, 597.
  Maypole of Merrymount, 343.
  Meade, William, 602.
  Measure for Measure, 114, 289.
  Medal, The, 176.
  Medecin malgre lui, Le, 122.
  Medical Student, The, 92.
  Meditations, Hervey's, 309.
  Meeting of the Waters, 256.
  Melville, Life of, 312.
  Memoirs, De Grammont's, 171, 172.
  Memoranda of the Civil War, 551.
  Memorial History of Boston, 523.
  Memory, Ode to, 288.
  Men and Women, 289, 294.
  Men Naturally God's Enemies, 356.
  Menaphon, 82.
  Menaechmi, 113.
  Mental Philosophy, 603.
  Merchant of Venice, 114, 392.
  Mercury, Philadelphia Weekly, 359.
  Merry Mount, 504.
  Merry Wives of Windsor, 95, 115, 122, 171.
  Messiah, The Scriptural Testimony to the, 312.
  Messinger, Robert H., 538.
  Metamorphoses, 330.
  Methodism, A Hundred Years of, 606.
  Methodism, Cyclopaedia of, 606.
  Methodism, History of, 603, 607.
  Methodist Episcopal Church, History of the, 599, 603.
  "Michael Angelo Titmarsh," 273.
  Microcosmographie, 280.
  Middlemarch, 278, 279.
  Midsummer Night's Dream, 77, 98, 114, 118, 119.
  Miggles, 578.
  "Miles O'Reilly," 559.
  Miley, John, 605.
  Mill, John Stuart, 235, 285.
  Mill on the Floss, 278, 279.
  Miller, Samuel, 600.
  Miller's Daughter, The, 290, 291.
  Milman, Henry Hart, 312.
  Milner, Joseph, 310.
  Milton, John, 22, 69, 76, 90, 106, 118, 140, 141, 148,
    150-162, 163, 165, 178, 179, 180, 198, 199, 200, 201,
    205, 222, 227, 228, 240, 255, 259, 263, 264, 281, 306,
    324, 337, 340, 349, 358, 431, 439, 502.
  Minister's Black Veil, The, 467.
  Minister's Wooing, The, 544.
  Minstrel, The, 195, 198.
  Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, 246.
  Mirabeau, H. G. R., 361.
  Miracle Plays, 98, 99, 299.
  Miracles, Notes on the, 312.
  Mirrour for Magistrates, 67.
  Misantrope, The, 169.
  Miscellaneous Essays and Occasional Writings, Hopkinson's, 388.
  Miscellanies, Carlyle's, 444.
  Miser, The, 169.
  Missionary Enterprise, The Moral Dignity of the, 601.
  Missions the Chief End of the Christian Church, 312.
  Mr. Sludge, the Medium, 294.
  "Mrs. Partington," 564.
  Mistress, The, 148.
  Mitchell, Donald G., 544, 545.
  Mocking Bird, The, 582.
  Modern Instance, A, 589, 591.
  Modern Learning, 388.
  Modern Painters, 280.
  Modest Proposal, 191, 410.
  Modest Request, A, 489.
  Moliere, Jean B. P., 113, 122, 164, 169, 172, 225.
  Monastery, The, 80.
  Money Diggers, The, 410.
  Monk, The, 248, 394.
  Monk's Tale, 38.
  Montaigne, Michel E., 91.
  Momcalm and Wolfe, 507.
  Montemayor, Jorge de, 83.
  Monterey, 538.
  Montgomery, James, 303.
  Monthly Nurse, The, 92.
  Moore, Clement C., 538.
  Moore, Frank, 555.
  Moore, Thomas, 222, 256, 490.
  Moral and Religious Essays, 604.
  Moral Argument Against Calvinism, 430.
  Moral Essays, 183, 380.
  Moral Government of God, Lectures on the, 600.
  Moral Plays, 99, 299.
  Moral Science, 601.
  More, Thomas, 61, 62, 63, 64, 136.
  Morning Chronicle, 268, 408.
  Morning of Christ's Nativity, On the, 152, 161, 199.
  Morning Post, London, 223.
  Morris, George P., 537.
  Morris, William, 28.
  Morte d' Arthur, 24, 50, 52, 75, 292, 514.
  Morton's Hope, 504.
  Mosses from an Old Manse, 463, 467.
  Mother's Picture, On Receipt of My, 213.
  Motley, John Lathrop, 474, 495, 504, 505.
  Mount Vernon, 384.
  Mountain Daisy, To a, 219.
  Mouse, To a, 219.
  Much Ado About Nothing, 104, 114, 115.
  Muhlenberg, William A., 604.
  Muiopotmos; or, the Fate of the Butterfly, 74.
  Mulgrave, Earl of, 173.
  Mueller, Wilhelm, 478.
  Murder Considered as One of the Fine Arts, 241.
  Murder of Lovejoy, 474, 508.
  Murders in the Rue Morgue, 529.
  Murfree, Miss Mary Noailles, 582.
  Murray, Nicholas, 603.
  Music Grinders, 488.
  Musset, Alfred de, 592.
  My Aunt, 488.
  My Captain, 551.
  My Double and How He Undid Me, 573.
  My Garden Acquaintance, 502.
  My Heart's in the Highlands, 219.
  My Last Duchess, 294.
  My Life is Like the Summer Rose, 422.
  My Old Kentucky Home, 542.
  My Search for the Captain, 559.
  My Study Windows, 502.
  My Wife and I, 544.
  Myers, F. D., 161.
  Mysteries of Udolpho, 248, 394.
  Mystery of Gilgal, 580.
  Mystery of Marie Roget, The, 529.

  Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, 533.
  Nash, Thomas, 61, 89, 90.
  Nathaniel Hawthorne and his Wife, 468.
  National Gazette, 390.
  National Literature, Remarks on, 432, 444.
  Natural Law in the Spiritual World, 313.
  Natural Theology, 309.
  Nature, 434, 445, 448, 453.
  Nature, The Religion of, 307.
  Naval History of the United States, 418.
  Neal, Daniel, 308.
  Neale, John Mason, 304.
  Nearer Home, 542.
  Necessity of Atheism, 257.
  Necessity of the Atonement, 598.
  Nelly was a Lady, 542.
  Nelson, Life of, 238.
  Nero, 168.
  Nettleton, Asahel, 603.
  New England Courant, 359.
  New England, History of, 342, 596, 597.
  New England, The Wonder Working Providence of Sion's
    Saviour in, 595.
  New England Tragedies, 343.
  New England Two Centuries Ago, 499, 502.
  New England Weekly Review, 519.
  New Haven Gazette, 383.
  New Mirror, 524.
  New Monthly, 273.
  New System of English Grammar, A, 564.
  New Testament, Commentary on the, 605.
  New Testament, Greek, 313.
  New Testament Lexicon, 602.
  New Testament Literature, 602.
  New Testament, Notes on the, 310.
  New World, 512.
  Newcomer, Matthew, 304.
  Newcomes, The, 275.
  Newell, Robert H., 569.
  Newman, John H., 304, 311.
  Newton, Isaac, 163.
  Newton, John, 212, 215.
  New York Ledger, The, 545.
  New York Review and Athenaeum, 513.
  New York Sun, 436.
  New York Tribune, 436, 450, 539.
  Nibelungen Lied, 194, 284.
  Nicholas Nickleby, 269, 273.
  Night, Hymn to the, 479.
  Nightingale, Ode to a, 263.
  Noble Mind, The, 123.
  Noble Numbers, 147.
  Noctes Ambrosianae, 224.
  Nonne Preste's Tale, 28, 38.
  North American Review, 428, 429, 465, 476, 501, 513, 514.
  North, Sir Thomas, 90.
  North Star, Hymn to the, 514.
  Northern Farmer, 293.
  Norton, Andrews, 442.
  Norton, John, 346.
  Notes on the Scriptures, 602.
  Nothing to Wear, 538.
  Nott, Eliphalet, 599.
  Nouvelle Heloise, 207.
  "Novalis," 284.
  Novels by Eminent Hands, 578.
  Nut Brown Maid, 55.
  Nux Postcoenatica, 489.
  Nymphidia; or, Court of Faery, 98.

  O Fairest of the Rural Maids, 515.
  O Susanna, 542.
  O'Brien, Fitz James, 559.
  Observations on the Faerie Queene, 198.
  Occleve, Thomas, 42, 45.
  Occultation of Orion, 481, 497.
  O'Conor's Child, 391.
  Odenheimer, William H., 606.
  Odoric, 47.
  Odyssey, The, 518.
  Oenone, 290.
  Old and New Testament, Connection of the, 307.
  Old and New Testaments, Commentary on the, 310.
  Old Benchers of the Inner Temple, 244.
  Old China, 244.
  Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of Virginia, 602.
  Old Clock on the Stairs, 481.
  Old Creole Days, 582.
  Old Curiosity Shop, 269.
  Old Folks at Home, 542.
  Old Grimes, 423.
  Old Ironsides, 487.
  Old Magazine, 267.
  Old Oaken Bucket, 422.
  Old Pennsylvania Farmer, The, 539.
  Old Regime in Canada, The, 507.
  Old Sergeant, 556.
  Old Testament, Commentary on the, 306.
  Old Testament, Historical Books of the, 605.
  Oldmixon, John, 332.
  Olin, Stephen, 602.
  Oliver Goldsmith, Life of, 414.
  Oliver Twist, 269, 280.
  Olivers, Thomas, 303.
  Olney Hymns, 212.
  Onderdonk, Henry U., 603.
  One Hoss Shay, 490, 562.
  One in Paradise, To, 531.
  Order of Chivalry, 49.
  Ordericus Vitalis, 17.
  Oregon Trail, 506.
  Origin and Compilation of the Prayer Book, 606.
  Orlando Furioso, 70.
  Ormond, 394, 395.
  Ormulum, The, 24.
  "Orpheus C. Kerr," 569.
  Orphic Sayings, 450.
  Osgood, Kate Putnam, 556.
  Osgood, Mrs. Frances S., 525.
  Ossian, Poems of, 195, 196, 198, 546.
  Othello, 116, 173.
  Otis, James, 366, 367, 368, 369.
  Otway, Thomas, 169, 259.
  Our Ladies of Sorrow, 532.
  Our Master, 522.
  Our Mutual Friend, 268, 270.
  Our Old Home, 469.
  Our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount, 595.
  Out of the Question, 590.
  Outcasts of Poker Flat, 578, 579.
  Outlines of Theology, 604.
  Outre Mer, 477.
  Over the Water to Charlie, 220.
  Overbury, Sir Thomas, 93.
  Overland Monthly, The, 577.
  Over-soul, The, 450.
  Ovid, 60, 330.
  Owen, John, 305.
  Owl and the Nightingale, The, 25.

  Paine, Robert Treat, Jr., 389.
  Paine, Thomas, 377-380, 596.
  Palace of Art, 290.
  Palace of Pleasure, 89.
  Paley, William, 309.
  Palgrave, Francis Turner, 516.
  Palmer, Ray, 604.
  Pamela, 205, 206, 207.
  Pandosto, 89.
  Panorama, The, 521.
  Pap with a Hatchet, 90.
  Paper, Franklin's, 362.
  Parables, Notes on the, 312.
  Paracelsus, 294.
  Paradise Lost, 157-159, 160, 179, 180, 188, 222, 259,
    281, 325, 385.
  Paradise Regained, 159, 161.
  Parasina, 250.
  Paris Sketch-Book, 273.
  Park, Edwards A., 604.
  Parker, Theodore, 440, 441, 443, 444, 452.
  Parkman, Francis, 475, 504, 505, 506, 507.
  Parlament of Foules, 35, 36, 42.
  Parlor Car, The, 592.
  Parsons, Robert, 300.
  Parson's Wedding, 169.
  Partisan, The, 536.
  Passetyme of Pleasure, 52, 67.
  Passing of Arthur, 292, 293.
  Passion-Play, 99.
  Passionate Pilgrim, 94, 586.
  Passionate Shepherd to his Love, The, 95.
  Past and Present, 285.
  Pastoral Theology, 601.
  Pastorals, Pope's, 186.
  Pastor's Sketches, A, 601.
  Pathfinder, The, 420.
  Patience, 28, 121.
  Patrick, Symon, 306.
  Pattison, Mark, 311.
  Paul, Life and Epistles of, 312.
  Paul, Saint, Observations on the Conversion and
    Apostleship of, 309.
  Paulding, James K., 405, 409, 415, 416, 525.
  Payne, John Howard, 422.
  Paynter, William, 89.
  Payson, Edward, 303.
  Peacock, Reginald, 47.
  Pearl of Orr's Island, The, 544.
  Pearson, John, 305.
  Peele, George, 103, 106, 107.
  Pencillings by the Way, 536.
  Pendennis, 275.
  Penn, William, 307.
  Pennsylvania Gazette, The, 362.
  Pension Beaurepas, The, 587.
  Pepys, Samuel, 165, 171, 173, 352.
  Percival, J. G.,544.
  Percy, George, 325, 335.
  Percy, Thomas, 59, 244.
  Peregrine Pickle, 209.
  Pericles, 110.
  Pericles and Aspasia, 242.
  Periodical Literature, 187, 188.
  Perle, The, 28.
  Perronet, Edward, 303.
  Persius, 174.
  Pestalozzi, J. H., 436.
  Pet Lamb, The, 229.
  Peter Bell, 228.
  "Peter Parley," 402.
  Petrarch, 34, 65, 66.
  "Petroleum V. Nasby," 569.
  Phedre, 168.
  Phelps, Austin, 607.
  Phenomena Quaedam Apocalyptica, 353.
  Philaster, 129, 131.
  Philips, Ambrose, 193.
  Phillips, Wendell, 474, 507, 508, 520, 543.
  Philosophic Solitude, 380.
  Philosophy of Composition, 528.
  Philostratus, 123.
  Phoenixiana, 564.
  Phyllyp Sparowe, 54.
  Piatt, John James, 556, 581, 589.
  Pickwick Papers, 268, 272, 280.
  Pictures of Memory, 542.
  Pied Piper of Hamelin, 295.
  Pierpont, John, 604.
  Piers Penniless's Supplication to the Devil, 90.
  Piers Plowman, Vision of, 28, 29-31.
  Piers the Plowman's Crede, 31.
  Pilgrimage, The, 88.
  Pilgrim's Progress, 29, 179.
  Pilot, The, 421.
  Pindar, 176, 485.
  Pink and White Tyranny, 544.
  Pinkney, Edward Coate, 423.
  Pinner of Wakefield, 107.
  Pioneer, The, 495.
  Pioneers of France in the New World, 507.
  Pioneers, The, 405, 420.
  Pippa Passes, 297.
  Pitt, William, 366.
  Plain Dealer, 169.
  Plain Language from Truthful James, 578.
  Plan for Saving One Hundred Thousand Pounds, 362.
  Plantation of Virginia, A Discourse of the, 325.
  Planting of the Apple Tree, The, 517.
  Plato, 60, 62, 64, 447, 455.
  Plautus, 113.
  Pleasures of Hope, 249.
  Pleasures of Imagination, 194.
  Plowman's Tale, 31.
  Plutarch's Lives, 90, 117.
  Plymouth Plantation, History of, 342.
  Poe, Edgar A., 259, 394, 416, 423, 452, 465, 466, 484,
    495, 511, 515, 524, 526-535, 536, 542, 554, 559, 573.
  Poems chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, 215.
  Poems chiefly Lyrical, 288.
  Poems, Emerson's, 453.
  Poems of the Orient, 539.
  Poems of Two Friends, 589.
  Poet at the Breakfast Table, The, 493.
  Poetaster, The, 122.
  Poetic Principle, The, 530.
  Poetical Rhapsody, 94.
  Poetry: A Metrical Essay, 488.
  Poet's Hope, A, 452.
  Poets, Lives of the, 192, 204, 205.
  Poets of America, 389, 407.
  Polite Conversation, 192.
  Political Green House, The, 383.
  Pollard, E. A., 555.
  Polyolbion, 97, 141, 324.
  Pons Maximus, 541.
  Poole, Matthew, 306.
  Poor Relations, 244.
  Poor Richard's Almanac, 362, 363.
  Pope, Alexander, 96, 149, 166, 173, 174, 175, 177, 180,
    181, 182, 183-187, 190, 192, 198, 200, 205, 211, 225,
    240, 249, 380, 385, 489, 490, 502.
  Pope, The Supremacy of the, 606.
  Popular Tales, 248.
  Porter, Ebenezer, 599.
  Portrait, A, 229.
  Portraits of Places, 588.
  Positivism, Christianity and, 605.
  Powell, Baden, 311.
  Practical View of Christianity, A, 311.
  Praed, Winthrop M., 418.
  Prairie, The, 420.
  Prairie Belle, The, 581.
  Prayer Book, Origin and Compilation of, 606.
  Prayer Book, The, 63, 154, 301, 302.
  Prayer in Prospect of Death, 218.
  Prayer under the Pressure of Violent Anguish, 218.
  Preaching and Hearing, Aids to, 601.
  Preaching, The Theory of, 607.
  Predictions of Isaac Bickerstaff, 191.
  Prelude, The, 228, 231, 232.
  Prentice, George D., 519, 564.
  Prescott, William H., 475, 504, 506, 512, 554.
  Present Crisis, The, 498.
  Pricke of Conscience, 24.
  Pride and Prejudice, 248.
  Pride of the Village, The, 413.
  Prideaux, Humphrey, 307.
  Priestley, Joseph, 309.
  Prince Deukalion, 539.
  Prince of Parthia, 393.
  Princely Pleasures at the Court of Kenilworth, 79.
  Princess, The, 291, 292.
  Principal Navigations, Voyages, and Discoveries made
    by the English Nation, 87.
  Prior, Matthew, 181.
  Prisoner of Chillon, 250.
  Private Thoughts upon Religion, 306.
  Problem, The, 457.
  Professor at the Breakfast Table, The, 493.
  Progress of Poesy, 176, 201.
  Progress to the Mines, A, 331.
  Prologue, The, 490.
  Prometheus Unbound, 258, 259.
  Prophecy of Samuel Sewall, 353.
  Prophet, The, 539.
  Prose Writers of America, 407.
  Prothalamion, 70, 73, 74.
  Proud Maisie is in the Wood, 59, 247.
  Prymer, The, 301.
  Prynne, William, 128.
  Psalm of Life, 479, 480.
  Psalms, Annotations on the, 305.
  Psalms, Sternhold and Hopkins's Translation of the, 300, 303.
  Psalms, The Book of, in English Verse, 602.
  Psalms and Hymns, 302, 402.
  Psalms in English Verse, 602.
  Psalter, The, 24.
  Psalter of Tate and Brady, The, 303.
  Pseudodoxia Epidemica, 136.
  Public Debates, 600.
  Public Spirit of the Whigs, 180, 224.
  Pulci, Luigi, 244.
  Punch, 273, 563, 566.
  Puritans, History of the, 308.
  Purloined Letter, The, 529.
  Purple Island, The, 143.
  Purvey, Richard, 32.
  Pusey, Edward B., 311.
  Putnam's Monthly, 475, 575.
  Puttenham, George, 88.
  Pyrrha, Ode to, 199.

  Quaker Widow, The, 539.
  Quakers, 307, 596.
  Quarles, Francis John, 143, 146, 354.
  Quarterly Observer, The, 601.
  Quarterly Review, London, 223.
  Queen Mab, 258.
  Queen Mary, 293.
  Quincy, Josiah, 366, 367, 368, 369.
  Quincuncial Lozenge or Network Plantations of the Ancients, 137.

  Rabelais, Francois, 209, 563.
  Racine, Jean B., 102, 164, 168, 169, 225.
  Radcliffe, Anne, 248, 394.
  Rag Man and Rag Woman, The, 573.
  Rainolds, John, 301.
  Raleigh, Sir Walter, 69, 72, 78, 86-89, 95, 109, 111, 324.
  Rambler, The, 188, 205.
  Ramsay, Allan, 59, 216.
  Randall, James R., 556.
  Randolph, John, 371.
  Rape of Lucrece, 95, 109.
  Rape of the Lock, 184, 185, 193, 199, 380.
  Raphall, Morris J., 603.
  Rasselas, 204.
  Raven, The, 528, 529, 531.
  Read, Thomas Buchanan, 541, 542.
  Reade, Charles, 267, 565.
  Reaper, The, 229.
  Reaper and the Flowers, The, 479.
  Rebellion Record, 555.
  Recluse, The, 231.
  Recollections, Flint's, 405.
  Recollections of a Lifetime, 402, 406.
  Recollections of the Arabian Nights, 288.
  Red Death, The, 532.
  Red Rover, 421.
  Reflections on the Revolution in France, 224.
  Reformation in Scotland, 300.
  Reformation, The Conservative, 607.
  Register, The, 592.
  Rehearsal, The, 168, 176, 204.
  Relapse, The, 169.
  Religio Laici, 177.
  Religio Medici, 138, 162, 341.
  Religion Delineated, The True, 597.
  Religion in America, A View of, 603.
  Religion of Protestants, The, 305.
  Religion of the Present and the Future, The, 601.
  Religione Gentilium, De, 299.
  Religions, The Ten Great, 606.
  Religious Affections, Treatise Concerning, 357.
  Religious Aspects of Evolution, 605.
  Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 59, 195, 244.
  Reliquiae Wottonianae, 141.
  Remains, Brainard's, 520.
  Representative Men, 447, 453, 456.
  Repressor of Overmuch Blaming of the Clergy, The, 48.
  Republic, Plato's, 64.
  Resignation, 481.
  Retreat, The, 146.
  Retribution, Future, 600.
  Revelation, The System of Doctrine Contained in Divine, 598.
  Reverie of Poor Susan, 229.
  Reveries of a Bachelor, 544.
  Review, The (De Foe's), 181.
  Revivals of Religion, Lectures on, 599, 601.
  Revolt of Islam, 258.
  Revolt of the Tartars, 241.
  Reynard the Fox, 38, 49.
  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 203.
  Rhetoric, Lectures on, 309.
  Rhoecus, 496.
  Rhymes of Travel, 539.
  Richard II., 105, 112.
  Richard III., 111, 112.
  Richardson, C. F., 318.
  Richardson, Samuel, 205-207, 208, 212, 276.
  Richmond, Legh, 310.
  Richter, Jean Paul F., 284.
  Ridgaway, Henry B., 606.
  Riding to Vote, 556.
  Rights of Man, 377.
  Rights of the British Colonies, 369.
  Rime of Sir Thopas, 38.
  Ring and the Book, The, 296.
  Rip Van Winkle, 410.
  Rip Van Winkle, M.D., 489.
  Ripley, George, 436, 443, 444, 452, 513.
  Rise and Fall of the Confederate States of America, 555.
  Rise and Fall of the Slave Power in America, 555.
  Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul, 308.
  Rise of the Dutch Republic, 505.
  Rival, The, 172.
  Rival Queens, 168.
  Roast Pig, 244.
  Rob of the Bowl, 535.
  Rob Roy, 248.
  Robert of Gloucester, 17.
  Robertson, Frederick William, 236, 312.
  Robin Hood, A Lytell Geste of, 59.
  Robinson Crusoe, 179, 181, 190, 205.
  Robinson, Edward, 602.
  Robinson, Henry Crabb, 241.
  Rochefoucauld, Francois La, 183.
  Rochester, John Wilmot, 175.
  Rock of the Church, The, 300.
  Roderick Hudson, 586.
  Roderick Random, 209.
  Rogers, Henry, 312.
  Rokeby, 246.
  Rolliad, 383.
  Roman Catholicism, 606.
  Roman de la Rose, 31, 36.
  Roman de Rou, 18, 22.
  Romaunt of the Rose, 35, 52, 71.
  Romeo and Juliet, 95, 115, 116.
  Romola, 247, 278.
  Rosalynde: Euphues's Golden Legacy, 82, 89.
  Roscommon, Earl of, 173.
  Rosetti, D. G., 45, 547.
  Roughing It, 569, 570.
  Roundheads, The, 170.
  Rouse, Francis, 303.
  Rousseau, Jean J., 194, 206, 214.
  Rowley, Thomas, 197, 198.
  Royal Poet, A, 75.
  Royden, Matthew, 85.
  Ruins of Time, 85.
  Rule a Wife and Have a Wife, 129.
  Rules of Health, 362.
  Rupp, J. Daniel, 603.
  Ruskin, John, 280, 485.
  Russell, W. Clark, 421.
  Ruth, 229.
  Rutherford, Samuel, 305.
  Rymer, Thomas, 173.

  Sackville, Charles, 175
  Sackville, Thomas, 22, 67, 68.
  Sacred Chronology, 304.
  Sad Shepherd, The, 123.
  St. Irvyne the Rosicrucian, 396.
  Saint John, Henry, 182.
  St. Leon, 394.
  St. Simon, Louis de R., 436.
  Sainte-Beuve, C. A., 363.
  Saints, Lives of the, 309.
  Saints' Anchor Hold, The, 595.
  Saints' Everlasting Rest, The, 305.
  Salis, Johann G. von, 478.
  Salmagundi, 188, 408, 415, 517.
  Salmasius, Claudius, 155.
  Samson Agonistes, 76, 106, 159, 160, 161.
  Sanazzaro, Jacopo, 83.
  Sanders, Nicholas, 300.
  Sanderson, Robert, 142.
  Sandys, George, 299, 330, 335.
  San Francisco, 575.
  Sartor Resartus, 286, 287, 410, 453.
  Satires, Pope's, 183.
  Scarlet Letter, The, 343, 466, 467, 468.
  Scenes of Clerical Life, 278.
  Schaff, Philip, 606.
  Schelling, Friedrich W. J., 234, 444, 456, 460.
  Schiller, Johann C. P., 225, 234, 283.
  School Days, 519.
  School for Scandal, 172.
  School of Abuse, 81.
  Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 485.
  Schoolmaster, 62, 68.
  Schoolmistress, 198.
  Schopenhauer, Arthur, 483.
  Science of English Verse, 581.
  Scornful Lady, The, 129.
  Scotch Drink, 218.
  Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled, 220.
  Scott, Sir Walter, 59, 79, 80, 189, 222, 223, 229, 231,
    244-249, 250, 252, 274, 277, 283, 284, 290, 391, 392,
    406, 411, 412, 415, 453.
  Scott, Thomas, 310.
  Scribner's Monthly, 575.
  Scripture History, Leading Personages of, 597.
  Scripture Poems, 536.
  Scriptures, Commentary on the, 307.
  Scriptures, Notes on the, 602.
  Scriptures, with Commentary, Version of the, 606.
  Seabury, Samuel, 597.
  Sears, Edmund H., 604.
  Seaside and the Fireside, The, 479, 481.
  Seasonable Thoughts, 595.
  Seasons, The, 194, 201.
  Seaweed, 481, 483.
  Sedley, Charles, 175.
  Seeing a Harp in the shape of a Needle Case, On, 231.
  Seeley, John Robert, 313.
  Sejanus, 117.
  Selden, John, 136.
  Selling of Joseph, The, 353.
  Seneca, 60, 100.
  Seneca Lake, 544.
  Sense and Sensibility, 247.
  Sepmaine, Le, 153.
  September Gale, 488.
  Serious Call to a Holy Life, 309.
  Sermon on the Mount, 595.
  Session of the Poets, 500.
  Settle, Elkanah, 168.
  Seven Churches of Asia, The, 606.
  Sewall, Jonathan M., 390.
  Sewall, Samuel, 352, 353.
  Sewel, William, 307.
  Shadwell, Thomas, 169, 172, 176, 177, 183.
  Shaftesbury, Earl of, 182, 360.
  Shakespere Ode, 429.
  Shakspere, 18, 21, 22, 28, 40, 76-124, 127, 128, 129,
    130, 132, 133, 150, 152, 158, 167, 168, 171, 172, 173,
    185, 186, 199, 200, 204, 222, 235, 248, 263, 264, 277,
    284, 288, 289, 295, 322, 324, 455, 469, 502, 561, 562.
  Shaw, Henry W., 569.
  She Stoops to Conquer, 172.
  She Walks in Beauty, 255.
  She Would if She Could, 169.
  Shea, John Gilmary, 607.
  Shedd, William G. T., 606.
  Shelley, Mrs. Mary W., 394.
  Shelley, Percy Bysshe, 222, 252, 253, 255, 256-261, 264,
    396, 528, 540.
  Shenstone, William, 198, 205.
  Shepard, Thomas, 346.
  Shepheard's Calendar, 68, 69, 76.
  Shepherd of King Admetus, 496.
  Shepherd's Pipe, 94.
  Sheridan, Richard H., 172, 211, 366.
  Sheridan's Ride, 542.
  Sherman, William T., 555.
  Shillaber, Benjamin P., 564.
  Shirley, James, 135.
  Short and Easy Method with the Deists, 307.
  Shorter Catechism, Lectures on the, 598.
  Shortest Way with the Dissenters, 181, 410.
  Sidney, Sir Philip, 51, 55, 68, 69, 72, 78, 79, 82-86,
    94, 109, 123, 140.
  Siege of Corinth, 250.
  Siege of Rhodes, The, 167.
  Signs of the Times, 284.
  Sigourney, Lydia Huntley, 231, 453, 544, 604.
  Silas Lapham, 590.
  Silas Marner, 278, 279.
  Silent Woman, The, 111, 122, 124.
  Simeon, Charles, 312.
  Simeon of Durham, 17.
  Simms, William Gilmore, 535, 536.
  Simon Lee, 228.
  Simple Cobbler of Agawam, 335.
  Simplicity, Ode to, 199.
  Simpson, Matthew, 606, 607.
  Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, 357.
  Sir Charles Grandison, 206, 281.
  Sir Martin Mar-all, 169.
  Sir Patrick Spence, 59.
  Sir Troilus of Troy, 20.
  Six Days of Creation, 605.
  Skeleton in Armor, The, 480.
  Skeleton in the Closet, The, 573.
  Skelton, John, 52, 53, 54, 67.
  Sketch Book, 75, 407, 409, 410, 412.
  Sketches by Boz, 267.
  Skinner, Thomas H., 601.
  Skipper Ireson's Ride, 522.
  Skylark, To a, 259.
  Shivery, Poems on, 482.
  Sleeper, The, 532.
  Sleeping Beauty, 288.
  Sleeping Car, The, 393.
  Smectymnus, 304.
  Smith, Captain John, 323, 325, 329, 330, 335, 342.
  Smith, Elihu, 382.
  Smith, Henry B., 606.
  Smith, John Pye, 312.
  Smith, Miles, 301.
  Smith, Samuel F., 604.
  Smith, Samuel Stanhope, 598.
  Smith, Seba, 564.
  Smith, Sydney, 223, 406, 564.
  Smith, William, 597.
  Smollett, Tobias, 208, 209, 212, 276, 393.
  Snob, The, 272.
  Snow Bound, 522.
  Social Meeting, Ode for a, 489.
  Society and Solitude, 453.
  Socrates, 187, 441, 456.
  Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister, 295.
  Solomon's Song Translated and Explained, 600.
  Somers, Sir George, 87.
  Song of the Chattahoochie, 582.
  Song for a Temperance Dinner, 489.
  Sonnets of Shakspere, 109.
  Sonnets of Wordsworth, 228.
  Sordello, 294.
  Sorrows of Werther, 196.
  South Carolinian, The, 557.
  South, Robert, 163, 306.
  Southern Literary Messenger, 524, 526.
  Southern Passages and Pictures, 536.
  Southey, Robert, 222, 225, 226, 234, 238, 241, 250, 387.
  Spanish Curate, The, 129.
  Spanish Friar, The, 169.
  Sparkling and Bright, 538.
  Sparks, Jared, 374.
  Specimen Days, 551.
  Specimens of Foreign Standard Literature, 444.
  Spectator, The, 181, 187, 188, 266, 353, 359, 361, 380, 408.
  Speculum Meditantis, 41.
  Speke, Parrot, 54.
  Spelling Book, Webster's, 402.
  Spencer, Ichabod S., 601.
  Spenser, Edmund, 18, 51, 67, 68-75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 83,
    85, 88, 94, 109, 140, 153, 198, 200, 201, 263, 501.
  Sphinx, The, 491.
  Spinoza, Benedict, 233.
  Spirit of Nature, Hymn to the, 259.
  Spotiswood, John, 299.
  Sprague, Charles, 429.
  Sprague, William B., 602.
  Spring, 537.
  Spring, Gardiner, 600.
  Spurgeon, Charles Haddon, 313.
  Spurston, William, 304.
  Spurzheim, Kaspar, 436.
  Spy, The, 420.
  Squibob Papers, 564.
  Stackhouse, Thomas, 308.
  Stage, A Short View of the Immorality and Profaneness
    of the English, 172.
  Stamp Act, Sermon on the Repeal of the, 597.
  Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn, 237, 313.
  Star Papers, 545.
  Star Spangled Banner, 389, 416.
  State of Innocence, 180.
  Statius, 60.
  Stedman, E. C., 318, 574.
  Steele, Anne, 303.
  Steele, Richard, 181, 187, 276.
  Stennett, Joseph, 303.
  Stephens, Alexander H., 555.
  Sterne, Lawrence, 137, 182, 188, 209-211, 212, 276, 284,
    411, 561.
  Sternhold and Hopkins Psalter, 300, 303, 337.
  Sternhold, Thomas, 302.
  Stevens, Abel, 603.
  Stiles, Ezra, 597.
  Still Hour, The, 607.
  Stillingfleet, Edward, 163, 306.
  Stith, William, 332.
  Stoddard, Richard H., 538, 574.
  Stoddard, Solomon, 595.
  Story of Kennett, 541.
  Story of Thebes, 43.
  Stow, John, 97.
  Stowe, Harriet Beecher, 543, 544, 545.
  Strachey, William, 323.
  Strafford, 296.
  Strauss, David F., 277.
  Strayed Reveller, The, 546.
  Strong, James, 607.
  Strong, Nathan, 596.
  Stuart, Moses, 441, 601.
  Style, De Quincey on, 240.
  Suburban Sketches, 589.
  Suckling, John, 148, 149, 500.
  Suetonius, 117.
  Suffering Children of God, Discourses to the, 601.
  Summerfield, John, 599.
  Summers, Thomas O., 605.
  Sumner, Charles, 474, 476, 482, 500, 507, 508, 509, 520, 543.
  Supernaturalism of New England, 524.
  Supremacy of the Pope, The, 606.
  Survey of London, 97.
  Swallow Barn, 535.
  Swift, Jonathan, 88, 180, 182, 183, 189-192, 224, 274,
    276, 277, 287, 410, 411, 533, 561, 573.
  Swinburne, Charles A., 24, 238, 547.
  Swinton, William, 555.
  Swithin, Saint, 28.
  Sybaris and Other Homes, 572.
  Sylvester, Joshua, 153, 158, 354.
  Synopsis, Poole's, 306.

  Table Talk, 141, 235.
  Tacitus, 60, 117.
  Taine, H. A., 209.
  Tale of a Tub, 190, 192, 287.
  Tales of a Traveler, 410.
  Tales of a Wayside Inn, 523.
  Tales of the Glauber Spa, 517.
  Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, 532.
  Tales of the Hall, 232.
  Tales of Wonder, 248.
  Talisman, The, 248, 517.
  Talleyrand, C. M., 373.
  Tam O'Shanter, 216, 218.
  Tamburlaine, 104, 105.
  Tamerlane, 526.
  Taming of the Shrew, 110, 113, 115.
  Tanglewood Tales, 469.
  Tappan, William B., 604.
  Task, The, 214, 522.
  Tasso, Torquato, 70, 73, 97, 244.
  Tate and Brady, Psalter of, 303.
  Tate, Nahum, 172, 303.
  Tattler, The, 187, 266.
  Taxation No Tyranny, 224.
  Taylor, Bayard, 538-541.
  Taylor, Jeremy, 140, 141, 155, 179, 304, 349.
  Taylor, Nathaniel W., 600.
  Taylor, William M., 606.
  Tea-Table Miscellany, 59.
  Telling the Bees, 522.
  Temora, 195.
  Temperance, Lectures on, 599.
  Temperance, Sermons on, 601.
  Tempest, The, 87, 114, 119, 172, 323.
  Temple, Frederick, 311.
  Temple, Sir William, 179, 189.
  Temple, The, 145.
  Temporal Mission of the Holy Ghost, 313.
  Ten Commandments, The, 24.
  Ten Great Religions of the World, The, 606.
  Ten Times One is Ten, 572.
  Tennent, Gilbert, 595.
  Tennent, William, 281, 595.
  Tennessee's Partner, 578, 579.
  Tennyson, Alfred, 13, 21, 23, 24, 50, 272, 288-293, 514, 540.
  Tent on the Beach, The, 523.
  Terence, 100, 110.
  Tertullian, 158.
  Teseide, 38.
  Testament of Love, 46.
  Texas Siftings, 564.
  Thackeray, William Makepeace, 184, 190, 192, 210, 247,
    252, 267, 272-277, 278, 415, 512, 561, 571, 578, 592.
  Thalaba, 238.
  Thanatopsis, 400, 416, 477, 514, 515, 517.
  Theaters, First, in America, 392, 393.
  Theaters, First, in England, 100, 101.
  Their Wedding Journey, 589.
  Theobald, Lewis, 183.
  Theodicy, 605.
  Theological Essays, 312.
  Theological Institutes, 312.
  Theology Explained and Defended, 386.
  Theology, Outlines of, 604.
  Theophrastus, 92.
  Theory of Preaching, 607.
  Thierry and Theodoret, 129.
  Thirty Poems, 517.
  Thomas a Becket, 36.
  Thomas de Hales, 25.
  Thomas Lord Cromwell, 112.
  Thomas of Canterbury, 28.
  Thomas of Ersyldoune, 57.
  Thomson, Charles, 596.
  Thomson, Edward, 604.
  Thomson, James, 194, 198, 200, 201, 214, 216, 386.
  Thomson, William M., 602.
  Thoreau, H. D., 435, 438, 452, 456, 457-462, 470, 474,
    477, 502, 512, 549, 554.
  Thorn, The, 229.
  Thornwcll, James H., 600.
  Those Evening Bells, 256.
  Thoughts in a Garden, 161.
  Three Unities, The, 168.
  Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shade, 515.
  Thucydides, 241, 410.
  Tieck, Ludwig, 284, 465.
  Tillotson, John, 163, 306.
  Timbuctoo, 272.
  Times, London, 223.
  Timon of Athens, 110, 117, 172.
  Timrod, Henry, 556, 557.
  Tindal, Matthew, 308.
  Tintern Abbey, Lines Written Near, 228.
  Tiptoft, Thomas, 49.
  Tithonus, 290.
  Titus Andronicus, 110, 115.
  Toilet of a Hebrew Lady, 240.
  Token, The, 465.
  Tom Jones, 208.
  Toplady, Augustus M., 303, 310.
  T'other Side of Ohio, 402.
  Tottel's Miscellany, 65, 66.
  Tour in the Scottish Highlands, Memorials of, 230.
  Tour on the Prairies, 405.
  Tourneur, Cyril, 135.
  Townley, James, 310.
  Toxophilus, 51, 62, 142.
  Tracts for the Times, 311.
  Tragedies of the Last Age, Remarks on the, 173.
  Tragedy, A Short View of, 173.
  Tragical History of Dr. Faustus, 105.
  Tragical Tales, 85.
  Tramp Abroad, A, 569.
  Transcendentalist, The, 444, 446.
  Travels in New England and New York, 387.
  Treatise on Christian Doctrine, 431.
  Tregelles, Samuel Prideaux, 313.
  Trench, Richard Chenevix, 312.
  Trinitarians and Calvinists, Letters to, 598.
  Tristan and Isolde, 23.
  Tristram Shandy, 209,411.
  Triumph of Infidelity, 386.
  Troilus and Cresseide, 36.
  Troilus and Cressida, 115, 117, 172.
  Trollope, Anthony, 584.
  Trouveres, The French, 19, 20.
  True Grandeur of Nations, The, 509.
  True Relation, Smith's, 329.
  True Religion Delineated, The, 597.
  True Repertory of the Wrack and Redemption of Sir
    Thomas Gates, 323.
  Trumbull, John, 166, 381-383, 388, 407.
  Tunnyng of Elynoure Rummyng, 53.
  Turberville, George, 89.
  Turgenieff, Ivan S., 584.
  Turgot, A. R. J., 361.
  Turner, Samuel H., 602.
  Twa Corbies, The, 56.
  Twa Dogs, The, 220.
  Twa Herds, 218.
  Twelfth Night; or, What You Will, 114, 131, 132.
  Twice Told Tales, 465, 466, 467.
  Twilight, In the, 501.
  Two April Mornings, 229.
  Two Gentlemen of Verona, 114.
  Two Rivers, 460.
  Two Voices, The, 291.
  Tyler, Moses Coit, 318.
  Tyler, Royal, 393.
  Tyndale, William, 33, 63.
  Typology of Scripture, The, 312.
  Tyrannic Love, 168.
  Tyrtaeus, 521.
  Tyrwhitt, Thomas, 195.

  Uhland, Ludwig, 478.
  Ulalume, 531.
  Ulysses, 290, 291, 514.
  Uncle Ned, 542.
  Uncle Remus Stories, 582.
  Uncle Tom's Cabin, 543, 544.
  Unco Gude, Address to the, 218.
  Under the Willows, 500.
  Underwoods, 123.
  Undiscovered Country, The, 591.
  United Netherlands, History of the, 505.
  United States, History of the, 409, 475, 505
  Universal Restoration, The, 598.
  Unknown Dead, The, 557.
  Unloveliness of Lovelocks, The, 128.
  Unseen Spirits, 537.
  Upham, Thomas C., 603.
  Urn Burial, 138.
  Ussher, James, 304.
  Utopia, 64.

  Valentinian, 129.
  Valley of Unrest, The, 528.
  Van Brugh, John, 169.
  Vanity Fair, 273, 274, 565.
  Vanity of Human Wishes, 193.
  Vassall Morton, 504,
  Vathek, 394.
  Vaughan, Henry, 143, 146.
  Venetian Life, 589.
  Venice Preserved, 169.
  Venus and Adonis, 95, 109.
  Vergil, 60, 68, 70, 71, 174, 183, 198, 200, 484.
  Verne, Jules, 529, 573.
  Vicar of Wakefield, 211.
  View of Religion in America, A, 603.
  Views Afoot, 539.
  Villa Franca, 501.
  Village Blacksmith, The, 480.
  Village Hymns, 603.
  Village, The, 232.
  Villiers, George, 164, 168, 204.
  Villon, Francois, 25.
  Vindication, The, 602.
  Vinet, Alexander, 601.
  Virgin Mary, Poems to, 27.
  Virginia, General History of, 329.
  Virginia, History of, 332.
  Virginia, History of the First Discovery and Settlement of, 332.
  Virginia, History of the Protestant Episcopal Church in, 603.
  Virginia, Notes on, 372.
  Virginia, Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of, 602.
  Virginia City Enterprise, 569.
  Virginia Comedians, The, 536.
  Virginia Gazette, The, 327.
  Virginians, The, 275.
  Vision of Columbus, 384, 385.
  Vision of Mirza, 188.
  Vision of Sin, 291.
  Vision of Sir Launfal, 498.
  Vision of Sudden Death, 240.
  Vision of William concerning Piers the Plowman, 28, 41.
  Visions of Bellay, 68.
  Visions of Petrarch, 68.
  Visit from St. Nicholas, 538.
  Visit to the Hebrides, 204.
  Vittoria Corombona, 134, 135.
  Voiage and Travaile of Sir John Maundeville, The, 46.
  Voices of Freedom, 521.
  Voices of the Night, 477, 479.
  Volpone, 122, 124.
  Voltaire, Francois M. A., 182, 284, 361, 378, 386.
  Voluntaries, 457.
  Von Kempelen's Discovery, 529.
  Vox Clamantis, 41.
  Voyage to Lilliput, 561.

  Wace, Richard, 18, 22.
  Wagoner, The, 228.
  Walden, 458.
  Wall, William, 307.
  Wallenstein, 234.
  Waller, Edmund, 148, 149, 164, 174, 175.
  Wallis, John, 136.
  Walpole, Horace, 195, 197, 201, 248, 394.
  Walton, Izaak, 141, 142, 162.
  Walton's Lives, 141, 142.
  Wants of Man, 423.
  War Lyrics, 557.
  War Time, In, 521.
  Warburton, William, 309.
  Ward, Nathaniel, 335.
  Ward, William, 310.
  Ware, Henry, 442, 598.
  Warner, William, 97.
  Warren Hastings, 283.
  Warren, Mercy, 368.
  Warton, Joseph, 199, 200, 201.
  Warton, Thomas, 78, 79, 195, 198, 199.
  Washers of the Shroud, The, 501.
  Washington, George, 242, 275, 374, 375, 377, 383, 384,
    390, 428, 570.
  Washington, Life of, 414.
  Washington as a Camp, 558.
  Washington Square, 559.
  Wat Tyler, 225.
  Waterfowl, To a, 515.
  Waterland, Daniel, 308.
  Watson, John F., 484.
  Watson, Richard (Bishop), 310.
  Watson, Richard, 312.
  Watson, Thomas, 94.
  Watts, Isaac, 303, 402.
  Waverley, 247.
  Way Down South, 542.
  Way of the World, The, 169.
  Way to Make Money Plenty in Every Man's Pocket, 362.
  Way to Wealth, The, 362.
  Wayland, Francis, 601.
  We Are Seven, 229,
  Webster, Daniel, 407, 424, 425-428, 429, 508, 560.
  Webster, John, 107, 109, 133-135.
  Webster, Noah, 402.
  Wedding, Ballad upon a, 149.
  Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, 458.
  Welde, Thomas, 594.
  Werner, Friedrich L. Z., 284.
  Wesley, Charles, 215, 303.
  Wesley, John, 215, 303, 310.
  West Wind, Ode to the, 260.
  Western Windows, 581.
  Westminster Abbey, 413.
  Westminster Assembly, 302.
  Westminster Review, 277.
  Westover MSS., 331.
  Westward, Ho! 405.
  What Mr. Robinson Thinks, 497.
  What Was it? 559.
  Whately, Richard, 312.
  Whedon, Daniel D., 605.
  When Januar Winds, 217.
  When We Two Parted, 255.
  Whipple, E. P., 385.
  Whistle, The, 362.
  Whitaker: Alexander, 333.
  White, Richard Grant, 575.
  White, William, 597.
  Whitefield, George, 214, 595.
  Whitewashing, Letter on, 388.
  Whitman, Walt, 479, 546-551, 555.
  Whittier, John Greenleaf, 334, 343, 344, 352, 353, 435, 482,
    489, 495, 518-524, 533, 543, 544, 550, 555, 558, 574.
  Whittingham, William, 300.
  Why Come Ye Not to Courte? 54.
  Wiat, Sir Thomas, 65, 66, 67.
  Wiclif, John, 32, 33, 39,47.
  Wieland, 394, 396.
  Wife of Bath, 37.
  Wife of Bath's Tale, 38.
  Wigglesworth, Michael, 355.
  Wilberforce, William, 214, 312.
  Wild Honeysuckle, 390.
  Wilde Jaeger, 246.
  Wilde, Richard Henry, 422.
  Wilhelm Meister, 283.
  Will, Freedom of the, 356, 605.
  Willard, Samuel, 594.
  William and the Werewolf, 28.
  William of Malmesbury, 17.
  William the Conqueror, Sketch of, 16, 17,
  William Wilson, 532.
  Williams, John, 312.
  Williams, Roger, 339, 340.
  Williams, Rowland, 311.
  Willie Brewed a Peck o' Maut, 218.
  Willis, Nathaniel P., 404, 516, 536, 537, 539, 545.
  Willson, Forceythe, 556.
  Wilson, Henry, 555.
  Wilson, Henry B., 311.
  Wilson, John, 223, 238, 239.
  Wilson, Thomas, 308.
  Winchester, Elhanan, 598.
  Windsor Forest, 186.
  Winkworth, Catherine, 304.
  Winter Evening, 522.
  Winter Evening Hymn to My Fire, A, 500.
  Winter's Tale, 89, 114, 115.
  Winthrop, John, 324, 336, 338, 340, 342, 343, 344, 346,
    347, 351, 353.
  Winthrop, Theodore, 558, 559.
  Wirt, William, 367.
  Witchcraft, 502.
  Witch's Daughter, 520.
  Wither, George, 149, 161, 177.
  Witherspoon, John, 596.
  Withington, Leonard, 599.
  Woodrow, Robert, 308.
  Wolfert Webber, 410.
  Wolfert's Roost, 410.
  Wollaston, William, 307.
  Woman in the Nineteenth Century, 450.
  Wonder Book, The, 469.
  Wonder Working Providence of Sion's Saviour
    in New England, 595.
  Wonders of the Invisible World, 338, 352.
  Wood, Anthony, 348.
  Woodman, Spare That Tree, 538.
  Woods in Winter, 477.
  Woods, Leonard, 441, 599.
  Woodville, Anthony, 49.
  Woodworth, Samuel, 422.
  Woolman, John, 396-398, 520, 596.
  Woolsey, Theodore Dwight, 601.
  Wordsworth, Charles, 311.
  Wordsworth, Christopher, 311.
  Wordsworth, Christopher, Jr., 311.
  Wordsworth, Dorothy, 230.
  Wordsworth, William, 59, 95, 146, 156, 200, 222, 225, 226,
    227-234, 236, 239, 240, 242, 244, 245, 255, 261, 264,
    515, 516, 517.
  World, History of the, 87, 88.
  Worthies of England, 139, 348, 349.
  Wotton, Sir Henry, 141, 142.
  Wrath upon the Wicked, 356.
  Wreck of the Hesperus, The, 480, 483.
  Wycherley, William, 164, 169, 170, 171.
  Wynkyn de Worde, 52, 59.

  Xenophon, 243.

  Yankee Doodle, 387, 388.
  Yankee in Canada, A, 458.
  Yankee's Return from Camp, 388.
  Yarrow Revisited, 229.
  Ye Mariners of England, 249.
  Year's Life, A, 495.
  Yellow Plush Papers, 273.
  Yemassee, The, 536.
  Young, Thomas, 304.

  Zastrossi, 396.


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